Thyristor key component to prevent ice damage in Quebec

French group Areva’s Transmission and Distribution division has won a €25 million contract from Canada’s Hydro-Québec to build the world’s first HVDC-based de-icing and power quality system. The Areva system will generate up to 7,200 A of direct current in the transmission lines, increasing their temperature, once it is installed at the Lévis substation, a major connection point for the transmission lines of Quebec.

Areva’s latest thyristor valve is the key component in the system and when not in use for de-icing purposes will act as a Static Var Compensator to stabilize the voltage on the 735 kV power grid. The system will cover approximately 600 km of transmission lines and will be operational during the latter part of 2006. SNC-Lavalin will supervise the civil works.