Siemens Refurbishing HVDC Link

By Jack Burke18 June 2020

Siemens Energy will refurbish the Moyle Interconnector, a high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) link between Ballycronan More in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, and Auchencrosh, Scotland.

Owned and operated by Mutual Energy, the Moyle Interconnector control and protection system is almost 20 years old and is being modernized to enhance its operation. The refurbishment of the 500 MW interconnector is designed to increase the security and reliability of the power supply to consumers in the United Kingdom. The project to upgrade the technology originally installed by Siemens in 2001 is now underway and the refurbishment is scheduled to be completed in September 2022.

Siemens said HVDC refurbishments are complex projects, as the optimal scope needs to be identified and all remaining interfaces clarified. With the help of constructive and detailed discussions between Mutual Energy and Siemens, a common understanding was established and the scope defined as; the detailed design, manufacturing, factory testing, installation, and commissioning of the control and protection system (including the replacement of auxiliary supplies, valve base electronics, and the measurement system), and the supply of a control training simulator.

The refurbishment of the interconnector will address the demands of the evolving electricity networks in both Great Britain and Northern Ireland. In particular, the upgrade improves the dynamic performance of the interconnector, enabling Mutual Energy to offer enhanced ancillary services. These will provide a valuable range of options to the System Operators as they seek the continued reliable and efficient management of the networks, while accommodating more variable renewable generation, the companies said. Additionally, by introducing an overload capability, the upgraded Moyle Interconnector will have greater operational flexibility.

“With its enhanced control features, the HVDC Classic system will be perfectly equipped for the future to more effectively meet the energy market’s demands”, says Hauke Jürgensen, Head of Large Transmission Solutions at Siemens Energy. “The upgraded system will provide more operational stability to weaker AC grids and will operate in a wider range of AC grid system conditions. In the future, more energy – mainly produced by renewables – can be transmitted from Scotland to Northern Ireland and vice versa.”

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