MaresConnect hands in application for new cross border VSC HVDC interconnection

by May 6, 2022

MaresConnect, an Irish project-specific company, has applied to Ofgem for a license to build a new VSC HVDC interconnection between Ireland and the UK. The Marex HVDC link, with a transmission capacity of 750 MW, will allow green electricity to be transmitted from wind farms in western Ireland to meet load demand in the United Kingdom. The 245 km HVDC subsea cable will connect the VSC HVDC converter stations in monopole configuration at Bodelwyddan (Wales) and Maynooth (Ireland). The interconnection between converter stations is estimated to cost €500 million and will be operational by 2027. In terms of HVDC advancement in the region, the UK will dominate with a projected transmission capacity of 38.4 GW by 2030, including addition of 8.8 GW of nationwide and 16.2 GW of cross-border transmission capacity. UK has shown strong intentions to cater all of its power needs from renewables by 2035 as well as new set targets to expand offshore generation to 50 GW by 2030. In this line, UK has been actively investing to build HVDC interconnection to harvest renewable generation potentials in the surroundings. To strengthen energy security, the United Kingdom intends to engage in major power trade with other nations in the region. UK plans to build HVDC interconnections with France, Ireland, and Germany with transmission capacity of 5.8 GW, 3.7 GW and 2.7 GW, respectively. UK is also building transcontinental HVDC interconnection to cater the increasing load demand from renewable generation resource in Morocco. In terms of market participants, Hitachi Energy (ABB) has a substantial presence in the region and is currently working on the HVDC interconnection between an offshore wind farm and the UK grid. With the new targets in place by UK, the renewable expansion will drive the HVDC market in the region.

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