Hitachi ABB Power Grids was in 2020 awarded the significant order by the Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks Transmission (SSEN) to connect the Shetland Islands to the Scottish mainland.
The Shetland link will allow efficient transmission of renewable energy, increase the reliability in the mainland grid and improve security of supply for Shetland.
The Shetland link completes the first multi terminal high-voltage direct current (HVDC) system in Europe using voltage sourced converter technology, invented by Hitachi ABB Power Grids, and the second in the world.
The link will make it possible to harness and develop the Shetland wind power resources by offering transmission of the well needed clean renewable power to Scotland, supporting the UK energy transition. The link will also contribute to the security of Shetland’s electricity supply and reduce the dependence on fossil fuels.
By using Hitachi ABB Power Grids’ HVDC Light® technology, having high controllability and flexibility, SSEN can efficiently combine wind and hydro power to meet user needs while also increasing the reliability and capacity of the power grids in Scotland and on Shetland. The technical solution has minimal environmental footprint, due to optimized design and low losses.
The Shetland interconnector will connect to the existing 320kV Caithness-Moray Link to form a three terminal HVDC network. The Shetland leg will have a power rating of 600MW; the Spittal and Blackhillock converter are rated at 800MW and 1,200MW respectively.