HVDC resurgence continues: Alstom snags major European project


By: SGN Staff


Quick Take: ABB has (rightfully) been trumpeting its HVDC successes; now here is Alstom with a major announcement of its own. I think this bodes well for Alstom, of course. But also for HVDC worldwide. In fact, if we eventually get enough HVDC success stories from China and Europe, maybe even the sclerotic North American market will start giving HVDC the consideration it deserves. Or am I being foolishly optimistic? Read the story and use the comment form to say if you agree. - Jesse Berst


A European cross-border grid operator has tapped Alstom for its DolWin3 project, which will connect North Sea wind farms with Germany's supergrid. The $1.3 billion project is the eighth grid connection by operator Tennet employing direct current technology.


"With this project, we help to take the energy turnaround another step forward and make it possible for offshore wind energy to make an important contribution to our future energy supplies," said Lex Hartman, a TenneT board member. "With DolWin3 included, we will be able to supply a total of more than 6,000 MW of clean energy from the North Sea - and we will be investing more than €7 billion (US$9.1 billion) in the energy turnaround."


The DolWin3 project is the eighth grid connection project Tennet will deploy with direct current technology. Along with three projects using AC current, the North Sea transmission system operator will provide about 6.2 GW of offshore wind power to the mainland. DolWin3 is the third connection in the DolWin wind farm complex in the southwestern section of the North Sea and will have 900 MW of capacity. Completion is expected in 2017.