SSEN Transmission Expands HVDC Technology Center in Scotland

An extension of SSEN Transmission’s simulation, test and training center for high-voltage direct current (HVDC) systems is now open. The centre’s extension, located in Cumbernauld, Scotland, enables the energy industry to expand its collaborative capabilities in modeling and de-risking the use of HVDC converters, overhead lines and cables within the power grid in Great Britain.

Established in 2017, the National HVDC Center is the first facility of its kind in the UK and uses developing technology to test the use of HVDC on the GB transmission grid, which will be vital to supporting the UK’s offshore wind ambitions and Scotland and allow the transition. to zero net emissions.

HVDC is generally the most efficient way of transporting electricity over long distances, and is particularly beneficial for subsea transmission, which will be vital to bolstering GB’s grid to support connecting ScotWind projects and Britain’s broader offshore wind ambitions. GB, as described in the UK. British Government Energy Security Strategy.

The work carried out at the national HVDC hub will also support the delivery of the National Grid ESO’s Pathway to 2030 publication, confirming the need for over £7bn of transmission investment in the North of Scotland and enabling the progression of innovative projects. from Pathfinder through BEIS. ‘ Early Opportunities Review Work Stream of the Maritime Transmission Network.

The first tranche of Pathfinder projects includes SSEN Transmission’s new Aquila HVDC switching station project, a project in Peterhead that is a multi-vendor operation of a DC grid.

Through the use of computer simulators, which model the electrical grid in real time, and replicate the control systems of different HVDC providers, the facility enables electricity transmission owners and operators, providers, developers, and academic institutions around the world to world to study the impact that complex HVDC systems can have. to have. This can help identify and mitigate any risks in a secure test environment before the technology goes live on the network.

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The extension to the centre, which was officially opened by UK Government Minister Malcolm Offord, will allow the center to further its expertise and excellence in this field, paving the way for pioneering technological advances and cementing Scotland and the UK’s place United as international leaders. in HVDC technology.

“The National HVDC Center in Cumbernauld is playing a critical role in the UK’s transition to net zero, creating innovative and more efficient electricity networks of the future. As we connect the renewable energy needed to enable this transition at scale and pace, the requirement for HVDC technology will increase substantially to meet the UK Government’s 50 GW offshore wind target by 2030 and support implementation of the strategy. of British energy security,” said Rob McDonald, Managing Director of SSEN Transmission.

“As the UK government focuses on building a clean, local energy grid, the expansion of this facility will take us further down the path to net zero, helping to bring more renewable energy to homes and businesses across the globe. the whole of the UK,” said the UK Government Minister. for Scotland Malcolm Offord.

To date, the center has played a crucial role in the development of SSEN Transmission’s HVDC technology projects in the north of Scotland, such as the Caithness-Moray submarine transmission link and the Shetland HVDC link, which is currently under construction. and will connect the Shetland Isles to the UK mainland power grid.

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