Hitachi Energy has been granted a contract by Ørsted to deliver VSC HVDC converter stations for the Hornsea 3 offshore wind farm. The project includes the installation of two converter stations that will be placed on Aibel’s offshore platforms. The Hornsea wind farm is one of the largest offshore wind farms, spanning over 700 sq.km and housing 200 wind turbines. The HVDC link will connect the Hornsea 3 offshore wind farm to the UK power grid through 120 km subsea cable, allowing the transmission of 2.85 GW of electric power to feed approximately 3 million homes in UK by 2025. This project will play a critical role in strengthening the UK’s energy security. UK government has shown strong intent to accelerate its transition towards renewables after Ukraine – Russia crisis, in this line UK government has updated their offshore wind generation targets from 40 GW to 50 GW by 2030. UK government has also suggested Ireland to increase their offshore wind generation targets from 5 GW to 10 GW by 2030. In line with the new set targets, Nationalgrid ESO has also established the Holistic Network Design (HND) programme, often known as Pathway to 2030, an integrated approach for connecting nearly 23 GW of offshore wind farms to the UK electricity system by 2030. Furthermore, SSEN intends to invest nearly seven billion pounds in onshore power infrastructure to connect offshore wind farms to Scotland’s northern transmission network. To date, the UK pipeline expansion in HVDC transmission capacity accounts for 25 GW, with France, Ireland, Germany, Scotland, and other nations in the region contributing a total transmission capacity of about 38 GW by 2030. Only in this year, UK has initiated the construction of four new HVDC links with Morocco, Ireland, Scotland, and Germany with cumulative transmission capacity of more than 9 GW as well as newly built 1.4 GW HVDC interconnection with Norway. In terms of regional market participants, ABB/Hitachi Energy and Siemens Energy have established significant presences in the region in recent years, while Chinese companies such as NR Electric and CEPRI have also won contracts to develop HVDC interconnections in Turkey and Germany, respectively. In 2022, Siemens Energy wins a contract to build HVDC interconnection between Norway and UK, with the commissioning scheduled for 2024. Offshore wind developments are one of the primary elements fostering the European HVDC market. Based on regional trends, it is envisaged that VSC HVDC technology will gain traction in the coming future to connect offshore wind farms to the grid network.
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