The Dutch-German transmission grid operator TenneT has awarded ABB a $1bn contract for the supply of a power link connecting offshore wind farms in the North Sea to the German mainland grid.

ABB will design, engineer, supply and install the offshore platform, the offshore and onshore converter stations and the land and sea cable systems.

According to the company statement, this represents the largest power transmission order in ABB’s history. It will deploy the 132 kV offshore high-voltage direct current (HVDC) system, with a rating of over 900 MW.

ABB’s HVDC Light transmission technology will transport power from the 400 MW Gode Wind II and other wind farms to an offshore HVDC converter station, which will transmit the electricity to the onshore HVDC station at Dörpen on the German coast via 135 km of underwater and underground cables.

A converter station here will feed electricity into the mainland grid.

Scheduled to be operational in 2015, this offshore network, according to ABB, will help to avoid more than three million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year by replacing fossil-fuel based generation.

Germany’s current installed wind power capacity of over 27 GW meets about 8 per cent of its electricity requirements, but there are plans to double that by 2020.

This order is the third offshore wind connection project for ABB in Germany, following the 800 MW Dolwin1 link awarded last year and prior to that the 400 MW BorWin1 project.

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