Power and automation technology group ABB is to supply a high-voltage direct current (HVDC) power transmission solution to create the first electricity link between the island of Newfoundland and the North American power grid.

The company was awarded a $400 million contract for the project from NSP Maritime Link Inc., a subsidiary of Emera Inc. The Maritime Link Project is a 500MW high voltage direct current (HVDC) connection that will enable renewable electricity generated in Newfoundland and Labrador to be transmitted to the North American grid in Nova Scotia. The stabilizing features of ABB’s latest HVDC Light solution will also allow Nova Scotia to integrate additional renewables and contribute to Canada’s emission-reduction efforts, the company said in a statement.

“ABB pioneered HVDC and is a global leader in this key transmission technology which is being increasingly deployed across a range of applications" said ABB Chief Executive Officer Ulrich Spiesshofer. "Our innovative solution for this project will help integrate clean renewable energy, facilitate the efficient transmission of electricity, improve grid stability and enable power sharing."
Maritime Link will deploy ABB’s HVDC Light Voltage Source Conversion (VSC) technology incorporating a full VSC bipolar configuration to further enhance system availability.

In addition to the two converter stations for the ±200 kilovolt (kV) HVDC link, the project scope also includes two 230 kV alternating current (AC) substations in Newfoundland, one 345 kV AC substation in Nova Scotia and two cable transition stations. The project is scheduled for commissioning in 2017.

Major new hydropower developments are underway in the Canadian Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, including the 824MW Muskrat Falls Hydroelectric Project. The development, along with the 2250MW Gull Island project, is part of a large plan to develop the lower Churchill River. Crown Corporation Nalcor Energy is responsible for the project development.