Power automation leader ABB has won a $130 million contract to supply an underwater power transmission link between Finland and the autonomous islands of Aland. Aland currently gets its power from Sweden via an AC transmission line.
But the new 158 kilometers long link will transmit 100 MW of electricity through a new High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) link. The renewed interest in DC transmission lines is good for renewable energy, since renewable sources like wind power and solar power put out DC power. And ABB was clear that it thinks that renewables could easily be fed into the transmission link at multiple access points. ABB calls this “multi-terminal configuration” which allows for in-feed stations.
ABB has already completed a 500 kilometer HVDC link that connects power between Britain and Ireland. In that area of the world where you have lots of sizable islands with large power needs, the interconnecting of an underground power gird supported by renewable sources of energy makes a lot of sense. And the increased interest in DC transit means less power loss during transmission and the chance to further integrate renewable energy onto the grid.