ABB has delivered the East West Interconnector to EirGrid, the Irish transmission system operator. The 260-km long, 500-MW transmission connection is the highest capacity link of its kind, based on voltage source converter (VSC) technology, to go into commercial operation. The grid is complete.
The interconnector establishes a link between the Irish and U.K. grids, enabling cross-border power flows and enhancing grid reliability and security of electricity supplies. The new link also facilitates power trading between the two countries and connects Ireland to the European grid. As Ireland expands its wind power capacity, it can export surplus electricity to the UK, and can import power when required. The EirGrid East West Interconnector runs between Deeside in north Wales and Woodland, County Meath in Ireland.
The EirGrid Interconnector will carry electricity both ways, benefiting consumers by helping to improve security of supply, increase competitiveness and to encourage the growth of renewable energy generation. Read more about the benefits of the new East-West Interconnector.
Full testing of the Interconnector during the testing phase confirmed that in operation, the Interconnector is well below the ICNIRP Guidelines for limiting exposure to time-varying Electric, magnetic, and electromagnetic fields, as endorsed by the Irish Government. ICNIRP is the formally recognized non-governmental standard setting body for EMF by the World Health Organization and the European Union. A number of independent reports health and safety reports were undertaken in relation to the Interconnector, see Project Activity
The cables are equipped with extruded polymeric insulation that provides strength and flexibility to endure the severe conditions of the Irish Sea. HVDC Light’s ‘black start’ capability can help restore power quickly in the event of an outage, without the aid of external energy sources.
“This is yet another example of the growing role of HVDC transmission technology when enabling key emerging trends like integration of renewables and interconnections” said Brice Koch, head of ABB’s Power Systems business. “ABB remains a market leader in this field and we shall continue to push the boundaries of HVDC technology, building on our past legacy.”
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