IEEE has recently honored the Virginia Smith High-Voltage Direct-Current Converter Station, completed in 1988, as an IEEE Milestone. The station was the first of eight HVDC stations that connect the eastern and western AC grids in the United States. These interconnections allow power to flow east and west through the county, increasing the flexibility and reliability of both grids.
The Virginia Smith station, named after Nebraska’s first woman in the House of Representatives, can transfer up to 200 megawatts of power. The full article is available online here.
In December, IEEE Spectrum published an article on the now-underway NordLink project, which will result in a new high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) link between Norway and Germany. A new Spectrum article reveals that the project is on schedule to be completed in 2019, and will travel a total of 623 km, making it the longest HVDC line in Europe. And with a 1400 MW capacity, it will also be the most powerful HVDC line in Europe.
The new Spectrum article highlights the three primary incentives for the project, from and electrical point of view:
Firstly, the HVDC converters have the ability to connect two non-synchronized grids, thereby linking the frequency of the two separated electrical zones represented by the Nordic and continental grids. Secondly, the HVDC connection makes it possible to transmit electricity over long distances with minimum losses. In fact, it is not even possible to transport alternating current (AC) over long distances subsea due to capacitive losses. Finally, the VSC-HVDC converter stations have full STATCOM (Static Synchronous Compensator) functionality to support the AC network at the Norwegian and German point of common coupling.
You can visit the official ABB site on Nordlink here.
Drexel University Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering