ABB wins $50 million contract for power grid connection in United States


ZURICH, Switzerland, April 4, 2002 — ABB has won a $50 million order to install a new high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission system between the eastern and western power grids of the United States.

Under the terms of the contract, ABB will design, build and install the system connecting the two grids, as part of a joint project between two US utilities: Basin Electric Power Cooperative of Bismarck, North Dakota, and Black Hills Power, of Rapid City, South Dakota.

The HVDC system – to be called the “Rapid City Tie” because of its proximity to Rapid City, South Dakota – will increase the capacity for high voltage power exchange between the two grids by 200 megawatts. The Rapid City Tie will be used by both utilities to expand service to their respective markets.

“The Rapid City Tie demonstrates how HVDC transmission systems can rapidly provide a utility customer with needed capacity,” said Richard Siudek, executive vice president and head of ABB Utilities division. “In this project, we are putting ABB capabilities to work to deliver a cost-efficient system to Basin Electric Power Cooperative in just 19 months.”

The Rapid City Tie is scheduled to enter commercial operation in October 2003. Besides enabling east-west power transmission, it will also provide voltage and frequency support for disturbances in either one of the grids.

The high voltage alternating current (AC) grids in the eastern and western U.S. do not operate synchronously and require a technology interface to reliably connect the systems together. ABB pioneered HVDC transmission technology – now a well-proven technology – to interconnect asynchronous grids. HVDC is the most frequently chosen solution for achieving this kind of interconnection.

ABB (www.abb.com) is a global provider of power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. ABB has 155,000 employees in more than 100 countries.

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