Siemens to expand HVDC link in New Zealand

Erlangen, Germany, November 10, 2009 – Siemens Energy received an order from Wellington-based Transpower New Zealand Limited, the national grid operator, to modernize and increase the capacity of the existing high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) link between the country’s North and South Island.

For the Inter Island Connector Pole 3 HVDC project Siemens will supply two turnkey converter stations and replace the aging converters with advanced light-triggered thyristor valves.

The investment volume for the overall project is about $490 million. Siemens’ share accounts for about half.

The aim is to raise the capacity of the existing HVDC system in increments over the next few years from 700 MW to 1400 MW. This is intended to ensure reliable power supply with minimal losses and to further stabilize New Zealand’s grid.

Siemens will complete modernization and expansion of the HVDC system by late 2013.

In the course of the multistage conversion and uprating of New Zealand’s over 570-kilometer-long HVDC link – of which 40 kilometers are a subsea cable link across the Cook Strait – Siemens will replace the aging converter technology (mercury arc rectifiers) with advanced light-triggered thyristor valves.

This will involve the installation of two 700-MW turnkey converter stations in the two HVDC substations at Haywards, located north of Wellington, and Benmore on South Island.

Siemens will also expand the 220-kV outdoor switchyards of the two substations and replace the existing instrumentation and controls of part of the system with Simatic TDC, the latest generation of its HVDC instrumentation and controls.

It is planned to increase the capacity of the HVDC link to 1000 MW by 2012, 1200 MW by 2014 and 1400 MW by 2017.

Siemens will not only supply the converter stations but also a static reactive-power compensation system based on its new SVC Plus (Static Var Compensator) technology for grid stabilization.

It will be installed in the Haywards substation and operate with innovative voltage-sourced converter (VSC) technology, and can be continuously controlled with the aid of insulated-gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs). The scope of supply also includes the converter transformers, smoothing reactors, protection and I&C systems, and AC and DC filters.

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