The UK’s transmission network operator National Grid is making investments to boost power flows from Scotland to England. This will help to meet the government’s target for 15 percent of the UK’s energy to be produced from renewable energy sources by 2020.
ABB has been appointed by National Grid to install thyristor controlled series compensation (TCSC) equipment at the Hutton 400 kV substation near Kendal in Cumbria. It is one of a number of projects that will together increase the power transfer capacity from Scotland to England by around 1 GW.
Due for completion in 2014, the project will help Scotland to make the most of its natural resources. It is being delivered under the National Grid’s Electricity Alliance Central, which is made up of ABB, Atkins and Morgan Sindall and is delivering major enhancements to National Grid’s 400 kV substations.
The TCSC is a type of FACTS (Flexible Alternating Current Transmission System) technology that enhances the security, capacity and flexibility of power transmission and distribution systems. Series compensation is a technique usually used when transmitting electricity over long distances using alternating current. It improves the stability of the power system, enabling more power to be transferred through existing circuits.
The series compensation equipment being installed at Hutton will used thyristor control to increase the power flow, mitigate subsynchronous resonance and ensure that the power supply system remains stable.
The contract marks a landmark for TCSC technology as it will be the first UK installation of this type of equipment.