$180 million for undersea link

ABB has won a $180 million order from Terna SpA, to deliver a High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) power system connecting the grids of Sardinia and peninsular Italy.


ABB has won a $180 million order from Terna SpA, the energy company that operates the Italian transmission system. The infrastructure will deliver a High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) power system connecting the grids of Sardinia and peninsular Italy.



The 1,000 megawatt HVDC undersea link will carry surplus power between the Italian mainland at Latina and the island of Sardinia. Italy is one of the world’s biggest importers of electrical power and the connection will be able to deliver electricity for one million homes.



The contract calls for ABB to design and deliver two converter stations, one in Fiume Santo, Sardinia, and the other in Latina, on the Italian mainland – both in existing 400 kilovolt (kV) substations. The stations include converter transformers as well as air-insulated and gas-insulated switchgear. ABB will produce the equipment at its factories in Sweden, Switzerland and Italy.



The distance between the two converter stations is 420 kilometres. Power cables will be laid beneath the Tyrrhenian Sea at depths of up to 1,600 metres.



In addition to handling the power exchange, this HVDC system can stabilise voltages and frequencies on Sardinia. It will be a bipolar HVDC system using two cables. The first pole will be completed in 2008.



This will be the third HVDC project delivered by ABB to Italy. The most recent interconnection between Italy and Greece was completed in 2001.



In late 2004, ABB began work on the world’s longest undersea power interconnection – the 580-kilometre-long NorNed link – that joins power grids in the Netherlands and Norway. In 2005, ABB began work on Estlink, a 100-kilometre undersea and underground interconnection, joining power grids in Finland and Estonia.