Power Grid

22 Sep 2021

Siemens Energy and Sumitomo to Partner on Irish-UK Interconnector

22 Sep 2021  by   

Siemens Energy and consortium partner Sumitomo Electric have signed a contract with Greenlink Interconnector Limited.

Inside an HVDC converter station. Credit: Siemens Energy

The contract covers the delivery of the high-voltage direct current (HVDC) converter technology for the Greenlink Interconnector that will connect the power grids of Ireland and Great Britain.

The 500MW, 190km electricity interconnector will allow power to flow in either direction, depending on supply and demand in each country.

Both Ireland and UK will benefit from increased grid stability, security of power supply and cost-effective integration of low carbon energy.

James O’Reilly, CEO of Greenlink, commented: “Greenlink is one of Europe’s most important energy infrastructure projects, contributing to energy security, regional investment, jobs and the cost-effective integration of low carbon energy, and we have chosen a consortium with exceptional experience, skill and standing in the energy and engineering sector for this major undertaking.

“We will be looking to maximise local supply chain benefits during the three-year construction period and we look forward to working with Siemens Energy and Sumitomo Electric towards successful commissioning in 2024.”

Siemens Energy will be responsible for the overall system design and the construction of two converter stations located close to the Great Island transmission substation in County Wexford (Ireland) and the Pembroke transmission substation in Pembrokeshire (Wales).

Both converter stations will use Siemens Energy’s HVDC PLUS technology with modular multi-level arrangement (VSC-MMC) to convert Alternating Current to Direct Current and vice versa.

Linked via an HVDC XLPE (cross-linked polyethylene) cable system by Sumitomo, the stations will enable the low-loss transport of energy with a voltage of 320 kilovolts.

Siemens Energy’s scope of supply also includes a Service and Maintenance Agreement with an initial duration of seven years.

HVDC technology offers an efficient means of transmitting large amounts of power over long distances and according to Beatrix Natter, Executive Vice President Transmission at Siemens Energy: “Interconnectors like Greenlink play a critical role in strengthening the share of renewable sources in the European energy mix and bolstering energy security.”

Work on the project will begin at the start of 2022.

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