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Siemens connects electricity grids of UK and Belgium with HVDC link

Siemens built converter stations housing the state of the art HVDC equipment in both Herdersbrug (Belgium) and Richborough (UK)

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Siemens, Grid, Ralf Christian
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Nemo Link® interconnector is a joint venture between the Transmission System Operators Elia (Belgium) and National Grid (UK), to exchange electricity up to 1,000 MW between the two countries, using high voltage direct current (HVDC) technology.

Nemo Link connects the Belgian and the British power grid with a combination of subsea and underground cables. This new 140 kilometers (km) long HVDC interconnection increases security of supply for both countries, allowing the import and export of electricity, as well as supporting the integration of renewable energy in the grid. The European Commission designated it a Project of Common Interest as it contributes to an integrated European energy market.

Ralf Christian, CEO at Siemens Energy Management Division, said: “The collaboration between Elia, National Grid, Siemens and our partners has delivered an exemplar project, on time, on budget and with outstanding safety. This has been down to the exceptional commitment and solidarity of all the people involved, working as one team, across Belgium, the UK and Germany. The team should be rightly proud of delivering such class-leading technology.”

Mirko Düsel, CEO Transmission Solutions at Siemens Energy Management, said: “Siemens engineering excellence has allowed this vital energy project to come to fruition. It will provide security of supply for both the UK and Belgium and will help meet overall decarbonization targets, when it opens in early 2019.”

Siemens has supplied its HVDC Plus technology which is used to transport electrical power between the two countries. Therefore, Siemens has erected one HVDC converter station on either side of the Channel, transmitting 1,000 megawatts (MW) of electrical power with a transmission voltage of +/- 400 kilovolt (kV) DC.

In the first converter stations the alternating current (AC) is transformed into direct current (DC), which is transmitted via cable to the second converter station on the other side of the link, where it is transformed back to AC. HVDC Plus is a highly controllable and flexible system and brings operational benefits to both transmission systems. Siemens has installed HVDC Plus projects worldwide with a total capacity of 6.3 gigawatts.

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