HVDC Light increases the reliability of power grids, and the technology extends the economical power range of HVDC transmission down to just a few tens of Megawatts (MW). In the upper range, the technology now reaches 3,000 MW and ±640 kV - enough electricity to power several million households and enabling power transmission over 2,000 kilometers. The system design enables compact converter stations – a big benefit in applications like offshore wind and interconnections.
It is quick to install and provides an alternative to conventional AC transmission systems and local generation in several cases, such as:
- Connecting wind farms to power grids
- Underground power links
- Providing shore power supplies to islands and offshore oil & gas platforms
- Connecting asynchronous grids
- City center infeed
Utilities are under extreme pressure to meet consumer and regulatory demands for a high quality, competitively priced power supply that has low environmental impact. The expansion of AC transmission capacity is often limited by local planning regulations and the concerns of local residents who object to the installation of new overhead lines.
It is now economically feasible to expand transmission capacity using underground HVDC cables. This approach not only minimizes environmental impact, it also improves the quality of the power supply.