Aibel and ABB to connect the world’s largest offshore wind farm to UK power grid

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DOGGER Bank Wind Farms has unveiled Aibel and ABB as suppliers of its offshore converter platform and HVDC power transmission system, providing the power grid solution that will connect the world’s largest offshore wind farm to the UK transmission network.

The 3.6GW Dogger Bank offshore wind farm comprises three 1.2GW projects – Creyke Beck A, Creyke Beck B, and Teesside A – in the North Sea, approximately 130km from the Yorkshire Coast.

“Dogger Bank is truly a world-leading project, pushing new boundaries in the provision of ground-breaking technology to deliver low-carbon energy generation to help achieve the UK’s net zero ambition by 2050″, Paul Cooley, Director of Capital Projects at SSE Renewables, said.

“The appointment of Aibel and ABB as project partners will ensure that the latest grid solution technology is deployed to support our successful project delivery.”

Under this deal joint venture partners Equinor and SSE Renewables, Aibel will deliver two high voltage direct current (HVDC) offshore converter platforms for the Creyke Beck A and Creyke Beck B projects, while ABB will supply its HVDC Light® converter system to the same projects, connecting the offshore wind farm to the UK power grid.

“This is an important milestone for Dogger Bank with a groundbreaking HVDC technology solution enabling a competitive solution for offshore wind at a long distance from shore. This will be the first offshore HVDC solution in the UK which opens up new markets and opportunities”, Halfdan Brustad, Vice President for Dogger Bank at Equinor, said.

“The appointment of Aibel and ABB demonstrates cross industry collaboration bringing best expertise into a successful Dogger Bank delivery.”

Both companies have options to provide platform and transmission solutions to Dogger Bank’s Teesside A project at the same wind farm, which will be confirmed in due course.

Each project will have a single HVDC transmission link connection between the wind turbine arrays and the onshore transmission network.

ABB will provide the HVDC converter systems at either end of each link, with Aibel providing the associated offshore platforms.

Aibel and ABB have a strong track record of collaboration, focused on developing and optimising designs for offshore HVDC systems.

This will be the first use of HVDC technology in the offshore wind market in the UK.

The HVDC electrical grid system will provide efficient and stable transmission from the wind farm to the UK transmission network, as well as higher control capabilities.

Aibel’s converter platforms will have a lean design, with a steel jacket structure and no living quarter or helideck.

The platforms will be normally unmanned, operated from shore and accessed only by a Service Operations Vessel.

ABB’s HVDC Light® convertor system will convert alternating current (AC) at 66 kilovolts from each windfarm to direct current (DC), before transmitting it onshore via HVDC transmission links to an onshore converter station where the transmitted power will be converted back to 400 kilovolts AC for export to the National Grid substations at Creyke Beck in east Yorkshire and Lackenby in Teesside.

“Winning the contracts from SSE Renewables and Equinor for the landmark Dogger Bank project underscores ABB’s innovative offshore wind technology and expertise.

“It also highlights the success of ABB Power Grids’ customer partnerships, both on design optimisation as well as on the business model level”, Claudio Facchin, President of ABB’s Power Grids, said.

“ABB is committed to delivering sustainable solutions with pioneering technologies and in the Dogger Bank project we are helping to make offshore wind competitive and thus contributing to a stronger, smarter and greener grid.”

Dogger Bank Wind Farms is a 50:50 joint venture (JV) between Equinor and SSE Renewables which was recently successful in the latest Contracts for Difference (CfDs) Allocation Round, the UK Government’s auction for renewable power.

The project is now moving towards final investment decision, expected in 2020.

SSE Renewables will lead the development and construction phases of Dogger Bank Wind Farms and Equinor will lead on operations once completed.