ABB has completed the Maritime Link, formally handing over the interconnector to Emera, an energy and services company headquartered in eastern Canada. The link made history on 8 December 2017, by conducting the first exchange of electricity between the islands of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. It went into service on 15 January 2018 as ABB continues to work with Emera and the system operators in each province during initial operation.
The Maritime Link is a 500 megawatt (MW) high-voltage direct current (HVDC) connection that will enable clean, renewable energy, generated in Newfoundland and Labrador to be transmitted to the North American grid in Nova Scotia, reducing dependence on fossil fuels. The stabilizing features of ABB’s solution will also allow Nova Scotia to integrate additional renewables such as wind power and contribute to Canada’s emission-reduction efforts.
The HVDC Light technology, used in the design of the Maritime Link, is the first bipolar configuration of its kind in the world using proven and reliable Voltage Source Converters (VSC). This solution enhances system availability, reduces losses and increases grid reliability, as power continues to flow even if one conductor or converter is not in use. The converter stations are equipped with the ABB Ability based advanced MACH control and protection system which acts like the brain of the HVDC link. It monitors, controls and protects the sophisticated technology in the stations and manages thousands of operations to ensure power reliability. Its advanced fault registration and remote control functions also help protect the link from unexpected disruptions, such as lightning strikes.
In addition to the two converter stations for the ±200 kilovolt (kV) HVDC link, the project scope also includes two 230 kV alternating current (AC) substations in Newfoundland, one 345 kV AC substation in Nova Scotia and two cable transition stations.
ABB pioneered HVDC technology 60 years ago and has been awarded approximately 120 HVDC projects representing a total installed capacity of more than 130,000 MW, accounting for about half of the global installed base. The company also pioneered VSC-based HVDC Light technology 20 years ago and is the market leader, now having delivered 20 of the 26 VSC HVDC projects commissioned around the world.
HVDC Light is a preferred solution for long-distance underground and underwater power links and inter-connections such as the Maritime Link Project. This technology is increasingly being deployed across a range of applications. The latest generation of this technology can transmit power at ±640 kilovolts (kV) over 2,000 kilometers and deliver up to 3,000 MW of electricity – enough to power several million households.