E.ON Netz has placed a $400 million order with ABB for the power equipment that will connect the world's largest offshore wind farm to the German power grid.

German utility E.ON Netz GmbH has placed an order with ABB worth more than $400 million for the power equipment that will connect the world’s largest offshore wind farm to the German power grid. ABB will supply its HVDC Light technology to the Borkum-2 project, located more than 100 km off the German coast in the North Sea.

The HVDC Light (High Voltage Direct Current) transmission technology will allow the 400 MW Borkum-2 park to be connected to the German network without compromising grid stability. The project is due to enter commercial operation in 2009 and will be the most remote wind farm in the world.

ABB will be responsible for the design, supply and installation of the offshore converter, sea and land cable systems and the onshore converter. Most of the transmission system will be laid underwater and underground, minimising environmental impact.

HVDC Light technology is promoted as an ideal system for connecting remote wind farms to mainland networks without distance limitations or constraints on the grid. “Linking renewable sources of power to the grid can be challenging due to environmental conditions and the distance involved,” said Peter Leupp, head of ABB’s Power Systems division. “This project highlights how renewable power sources can be integrated to help combat climate change.”

Borkum-2 is expected to avoid CO2 emissions of 1.5 million tons per year by replacing fossil fuel generation. Germany currently uses wind for about seven percent of its electricity requirements and expects to double the share of wind energy by 2020.