Photo: Hitachi ABB Power Grids

SSEN taps Hitachi ABB Power Grids for Shetland HVDC link

Hitachi ABB Power Grids has won a contract from SSEN Transmission to deliver a pioneering multi-terminal HVDC interconnection in Shetland.

It marks a European first for the HDVC Light technology and the second project of its kind in the world.

The link, which will connect Shetland to the UK transmission system for the first time, should boost security of power supply and help transmit wind power generated on the islands.

The Shetland link will generate 600 megawatts of renewable energy once operational at the estimated completion date of 2024.

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The project will see Hitachi ABB Power Grids design, supply, install and commission a HVDC converter station on Shetland and an HVDC switching station in Caithness on the Scottish mainland.

According to the company, the technology also enhances grid stability, minimizing the risk of blackouts, making it particularly well-suited to the integration of renewable energy into the grid.

The HVDC system will convert the harnessed wind power from alternating current to direct current at an HVDC converter station.

This power will then travel via underground and subsea cables to an HVDC switching station at Caithness.

It will then be transferred via the Caithness Moray HVDC link, before being converted back to alternating current for onward transmission.

Niklas Persson, managing director of the Grid Integration business at Hitachi ABB Power Grids, said:

“This innovative HVDC solution will enable SSEN Transmission to efficiently connect and transport renewable energy and deliver clean power to consumers while enhancing grid reliability.”

Sandy Mactaggart, SSEN Transmission’s director of Offshore Delivery.

“The HVDC link will deliver substantial socio-economic and environmental benefits to Shetland’s, Scotland’s and the UK’s economy, supporting hundreds of skilled jobs in the process.”

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