ABB has received a $180m order from Hydro-Québec to strengthen the electrical transmission grid between the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario.

ABB will deliver a high-voltage direct current (HVDC) converter station that will add 1,250 megawatts (MW) of transmission capacity between Quebec and Ontario by March 2009. ABB said in a statement that in addition to improving grid reliability in both provinces, Ontario will benefit by having substantially more access to emission-free hydroelectric power from Quebec.

Hydro-Québec is one of the largest producers of hydroelectric power in the world, and operates the largest power transmission system in North America.

‘The project will add to Hydro-Québec's links with other networks, increasing the exchange of power and helping to isolate faults more easily,’ said Bernhard Jucker, head of ABB’s Power Products division.

ABB has supplied more than half of the HVDC converter stations in the world and has more than 50 HVDC projects commissioned or under construction in all parts of the world. HVDC stations convert electricity from alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC) and vice versa, and provide reliable connections between incompatible AC systems.

The new converter station in southern


will create a new interconnection between the 315 kilovolt (kV) grid in


and the 230 kV grid in


. ABB’s scope of supply includes design and manufacture of equipment, installation, commissioning and civil works, using the latest developments in power semiconductor valves and advanced control systems.