The world's first installation for testing 800 kV DC technology has been officially opened by ABB.

One of the main aims of the project is to develop a new bushing for 800 kV UHVDC transmission systems that will make it viable to produce electricity in remote regions of China, India, Brazil and Africa, where vast hydropower resources remain untapped. An UHVDC link 2,000 km long is 30% cheaper than other technologies, partly because it reduces electricity losses by 30% compared with 500 kV DC or 800 kV AC technology.

“ABB’s technology will enable some of the most populous regions in the world to pursue rapid economic development with lower environmental impact,” said Bernhard Jucker, head of ABB’s Power Products division.

The test site is located about 100 meters from ABB’s HVDC headquarters in Ludvika, Sweden.

China and India are set to be the main users of the new technology with India planning to build five UHVDC lines over the next decade, each with a capacity of 6,000 MW and China is planning one line every year for the next decade, each with a capacity of 5,000 MW to 6,400 MW. There are also plans to install 800 kV UHVDC lines in southern Africa and in Brazil.

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