With a maximum power transmission rating of 3,000 MW, the bipolar ±500 kV Three Gorges-Guangdong HVDC power link transmits electricity from the Three Gorges hydropower plant in central China to Guangdong province on the southern coast.
ABB supplied two converter stations, one HVDC converter station is located at Jingzhou near the Three Gorges power plant, the other in Huizhou near Guangzhou. Guangdong is the most populous province in China, and the provincial capital Guangzhou and economic center Shenzhen are among the largest and most important cities in China.
The 940-km long link ordered by the State Grid Corporation of China went into commercial operation in 2004 and was built in record time, about a year faster than the industry norm thanks in large part to the knowledge and experience gained by the earlier completed Three Gorges-Changzhou project.
The cost benefit to the owner in terms of initial investment was considerable due to less time needed for engineering review, reduced type tests, repeat equipment effect, etc, and there was also a significant reduction in long-term operation and maintenance costs because of the availability of trained and experienced personnel.
Among its advantages, HVDC enables controlled transmission of power between unsynchronized AC networks in central and East China/Guangdong, which retain their independence, and reduces construction costs and losses, requiring only one HVDC transmission line for 3,000 MW.