ABB has reached an impressive project milestone this week, by installing the world’s most powerful offshore converter station in the North Sea.
The 320 kilovolt converter station is housed on a massive offshore platform, and has a transmission capacity of 916 MW, which makes it the most powerful installation of its kind in the world — it’s enough to power more than a million households with offshore wind-generated clean electricity.
The offshore converter station, DolWin beta, is part of the DolWin2 project which is being operated by transmission system operator TenneT, and is intended to connected offshore wind farms located in the North Sea’s DolWin cluster with the German electricity grid.
“After the successful handover of the DolWin1 link in July, this is another key milestone in the execution of our offshore wind projects,” said ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer. “It is a further example of our focus on relentless execution and of the ongoing progress in the Power Systems division’s Step Change program.”
“Putting such a huge platform in place is one of the most delicate operations in the delivery of an offshore power link, requiring intensive pre-planning and cooperation between the stakeholders involved and we are pleased that this important project landmark has gone smoothly,” said Claudio Facchin, President, ABB Power Systems division.
The massive structure weighs around 23,000 tonnes, is approximately 100 meters in length, 70 meters wide, and 100 meters tall. Amazingly, the structure was actually built in Dubai, and then transported to Aibel’s shipyard in Norway, before it was moved out to its installation location after four days at sea. Nearby wind farms will be connected to DolWin beta by AC cables, which will then transfer the generated electricity through a 45 kilometer-long DC sea cable system, and a further 90 kilometer-long land cable to an HVDC onshore station at the grid connection point in Germany’s Dörpen West.