ABB has won an order worth $440m from the State Grid Corporation of China to provide new ultrahigh-voltage technology to support the development of the world’s longest power transmission link.
The new power superhighway, which will run 2,000 kilometres (1,240 miles) from western China to the highly industrialised coastal area in the east, will have a capacity of 6,400MW – enough to meet the needs of about 31 million people in China, based on average consumption per capita.
The ultrahigh-voltage direct current (UHVDC) link from the Xiangjiaba hydropower plant to Shanghai, which is scheduled for completion in 2011, comprises two substations and a power transmission system.
The 6,400MW power rating is more than double the most powerful rating in operation today. And transmission losses from the 800kV system will be less than 7 percent, significantly less than the losses from conventional 500kV high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission schemes.
ABB claims that the savings from using UHVDC compared with HVDC are equivalent to the annual power consumption of more than 900,000 people in China!