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First MVDC link will reinforce North Wales power system

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The US-based GE Energy Connections is to play a central role in Scottish Power Energy Network’s Angle-DC project in Anglesey and North Wales, which aims to demonstrate a novel network reinforcement technique by converting an existing 33-kV AC circuit to DC operation. GE is to deliver the technology for what will be Europe’s first medium-voltage direct current (MVDC) link. 

As electricity demands in the region increase, uncontrolled power flows are putting the system at risk by exceeding thermal limits of the cables and overhead lines, says GE. The MVDC link will enable improved power flow and voltage control. Converting AC assets to DC operation will also enhance the thermal capability of the circuit. 

GE’s Power Conversion AC-to-DC converters will be located at a 33 kV substation in Bangor and at a similar substation on the Isle of Anglesey. The converters at each substation will convert
33 kV AC to 27kV DC using the existing AC lines between the two substations. 

Kevin Smith, Future Networks Lead Engineer at Scottish Power Energy Networks, said: ‘The Angle-DC project, being the first of its kind, will hopefully demonstrate that using MVDC on existing assets can be a more innovative alternative to simply building more substations along with the connecting underground cables and overhead lines.’

GE will also be including an asset management tool that provides remote connectivity to improve service responsiveness, and data management software that allows data collection, processing and storage, as part of the installation. 

The existing station at Bangor 

Photo: GE 

News Item details

Journal title: Energy World

Subjects: Electricity - Energy engineering - Database Management - Storage - Electricity generation -

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