ABB Installs Highest-Voltage Offshore Converter

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ABB Ltd. (ABB) has installed the world’s most powerful highest-voltage offshore converter station, DolWin alpha, in the North Sea. This new 320 kilovolts converter station will primarily alternate the current electricity generated from three wind farms off the coast of Germany and convert it into high-voltage direct current (:HVDC) for transmission to the mainland. DolWin alpha has a power transmission capacity of 800 megawatts and is believed to establish a new record for power capacity and voltage level.

The installation of this high-voltage offshore converter station is part of the large contract awarded to ABB by TenneT. According to the contract, ABB will be responsible for the offshore converter station, the sea and land cable systems as well as the onshore converter station. The entire project comprises the latest technology of ABB power semiconductors, with increased performance, thereby ensuring higher profitability and reduced losses.

The DolWin alpha offshore wind convertor station is expected to reduce the environmental impact as it replaces fossil-fuel based generation instead of carbon dioxide emissions. Traditionally, this plant was emitting 3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.

The installation of the 9,300 metric ton platform that includes the converter station took three days. The entire platform was transported offshore through a barge and was then lifted by the world's largest crane vessel Thialf and positioned on top of the already installed jacket.

ABB is one of the leading providers of HVDC technology since the past 60 years and has received approximately 90 HVDC projects reflecting a total installed capacity of more than 95,000 megawatts (MW). This is about half the global installed base. ABB is uniquely positioned in the industry with in-house manufacturing capability for power semiconductors, converters and high voltage cables, the key components of HVDC systems.

However, the commissioning of the world’s highest-voltage offshore converter station is a key milestone for ABB.

Based in Zurich, Switzerland, ABB is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering the environmental impact. ABB currently has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

However, some other stocks worth considering at the moment are Plug Power Inc. (PLUG), Rexnord Corp. (RXN) and AO Smith Corp. (AOS). Rexnord Corp has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) while Plug Power and AO Smith carry Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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