ABB commissioned the converter stations to the Rio Madeira High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) link in Brazil and delivered the project to Abengoa. The about 1,500 mile, 3,150 MW power connection will bring electricity from two hydropower plants in the northwest of the country to São Paulo, Brazil’s main economic center.
Apart from the two 3,150 MW HVDC converter stations for the world record length link, ABB has also delivered an 800 MW HVDC back-to-back station that transmits power to the surrounding alternating current (AC) network in the northwest of Brazil.
These are the fourth and fifth transmission links using HVDC technology delivered by ABB in Brazil, succeeding the two Itaipu links, delivered in 1984 and 1987, and the two interconnections between Brazil and Argentina, delivered in 1999 and 2002.
HVDC has lower losses across longer distances and a smaller footprint than traditional AC transmission systems. It is also able to stabilize intermittent power supplies that might otherwise disrupt the grid. For these reasons, it is the technology of choice for long-distance transmission projects, which can deliver electricity from remote generation sources to the centers where it is needed.