ABB has won orders worth more than $300 million to supply advanced converter transformers for two long-distance ultra-high-voltage direct current (UHVDC) transmission links capable of transporting up to 10 GW at the 800 kV voltage level, setting a new world record in terms of capacity.
The 1609 km Ximeng-Taizhou and the 1231 km Shanghaimiao-Shandong 800 kV transmission links will deliver 25 % more power compared with recent 800 kV UHVDC links, through the same narrow transmission corridor. Recent advances in key technologies like the 509 MVA converter transformers, says ABB, make it possible to increase the power transmission capacity of UHVDC links to an unprecedented level.

The two links are part of a project to transmit power out of Inner Mongolia via long distance transmission lines, the so-called coal-by-wire approach, rather than transporting huge amounts of coal to distant generating sites. Overall, the project aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by around a third of a billion metric tons, as well as reducing sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions, and preventing around 140 000 metric tons of smoke and dust particulates from polluting the air.
China has major load centres in its eastern regions, while its energy resources are in the west and northwest. The expansive geography and increased demand over the last decade have prompted the country to increase its UHV transmission capacity, enabling delivery of power from newer, more-efficient thermal power generation plants near energy reserves while lowering pollution near cities.