Renewable energy and HVDC growing side by side -ABB

Oct 15, 2019
Posted by Patrick Haddad

While ABB is selling its power grids division to Hitachi, Roger Rosenqvist, Vice-President of Business Development at ABB, has said that he sees the growth of HVDC as being driven in part by the rise of renewable energy.

In an interview with Power Engineering, Ronenqvist responded to a question about the growth of the sector since ABB released their latest generation of High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) transformers by discussing the change in sources of energy in the USA.

“The HVDC interconnection market is expected to continue to grow globally, alongside the growth of the renewables sector, as HVDC is the most efficient way to transmit renewable power over long distances to the end consumers. The offshore wind market is growing in most regions of the world, supporting the increasing generation mix change to renewables, including the NAM region.” he said.

The ABB chief went on to describe the differing transmission needs of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, and how the use of HVDC lines and transformers help facilitate the process.

“Since the development of utility-scale wind and solar facilities are driven by favorable wind and solar intensity conditions, major renewable resources are often located far away from major population and load centers. For example, some of the best wind resources in New England and New York are either far offshore or to the north, whereas the major population and load centers are in the south.

Hence, to deliver reliable renewable energy from new resources to major population and load centers, new transmission line capacity will be needed. In addition, since the voltage control and reactive power needs at load centers were historically supported by local fossil-fuel based generators, new devices will be needed at the load centers for such support.”said Rosenqvist.

“We believe there is great potential for rapid growth of HVDC transmission in North America. With the accelerated pace of retiring fossil fuel generation facilities – which historically were located near major load centers – and the rapid growth of utility-scale wind and solar capacity to replace such generation, the requirements on the existing transmission grid are about to change. HVDC technology has the right characteristics to meet the new demands.”

Source: Power Engineering

Photo (for illustrative purposes): HVDC lines from Itaipu Dam / Deni Williams / Flickr / CC BY 2.0


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