ABB has refurbished three high voltage direct current (HVDC) converter stations on the power transmission link between Québec, Canada and New England, US.

The project, which has been carried out for Hydro-Québec and National Grid, strengthens supply of renewable energy and grid stability for coming decades.

The 1,500 km linkage connects will benefit areas such as Boston from alternative sources of electricity.

The link is regarded as one of the world's first multi-terminal link, when it entered service in the early 1990s. It played key role in supplying electricity to highly populate areas such as Montreal and Boston with clean hydroelectric power.

The HVDC link can supply up to 2GW of electricity which can sufficiently manage the power needs of about 3.8 million people, based on average US household consumption.

ABB said the critical part of the project was to ensure minimal power interference and enabling commercial operations to be restored swiftly. For the latest upgrade, the company replaced the hardware and software of the link with its advanced MACH control and protection system.

The move results in continued, reliable and highly-controllable power supply, enabling advanced smart-grid studies for further optimising it with grid in a timely manner.

ABB claims that the MACH system installed at the HVDC link acts as the brain of the system, which offers high degree of integration capability for having control and protection functions, designed to run round the clock in the coming decades.

The system is also equipped with advanced fault registration and remote access functions. ABB also says that there are about 1,100 such systems installed around the world.

ABB grid systems business managing director Patrick Fragman said: "We pioneered HVDC technology and continue to lead the way through innovation, as with the latest control system being installed for this project.

"The upgrade of the world's first multi-terminal link reinforces ABB's commitment to supporting customers through the lifecycle, and reiterates our focus on the service business, as part of our Next Level Strategy."

Image: ABB completes HVDC link between Canada and US to supply hydropower. Photo: Courtesy of ABB.