ABB to create $140m converter station linking Danish and German clean energy projects

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ABB, the Swiss specialist in solar inverters and power electronics, has received an order from two European transmission network operators to build a high voltage direct current (HVDC) converter station that will allow for the connection of AC power grids between the two nations.

Germany’s 50Hertz Transmission and Denmark’s Energinet.dk have placed an order worth $140 million with ABB for the "back-to-back" converter station, which once complete will be the first of its kind in Europe.

ABB will build the HVDC station in Bentwisch, Northern Germany, and will link it to Eastern Denmark’s "Kriegers Flak combined grid solution" project, which is set to become the world’s first offshore interconnection, linking the Danish project with German Baltic 1 and 2 offshore wind farms.

The interconnector will have a capacity of 400 MW, which is enough to supply the power needs of 400,000 local households. Co-financing for this pioneering and critical project is to be provided by the EU, marking a significant step towards greater collaboration on energy grids in Europe, and also in helping the continent to meet its clean energy goals.

As well as furthering the renewable energy cause, the project will offer enhanced power security and further opportunities for energy trading, ABB said.

"ABB is playing a key role in enabling the vision of a European grid," said ABB’s president of power grids division Claudio Facchin. "The integration of renewable energy and the development of interconnections are key elements of ABB’s Next Level Strategy, addressing the growing need for electricity with minimum environmental impact."

The company earned the contract following its work on a $100 million AC subsea cable system that connected the Danish Kriegers Flak wind farm last year.

This new project will augment Danish-German energy collaboration, building upon a recent move by the Danish Energy Agency to reserve up to 2.4 MW of its next 20 MW solar PV tender for German installations. In return, Germany has said that it too plans to open its tenders for solar to Denmark in the coming rounds.