The National HVDC Centre hosted a Caithness-Moray Grid Integration dissemination event on 28th March at the Centre focusing on the project impacts and outputs to date.
The focus of the Caithness-Moray project was rebuilding the transmission infrastructure in the north of Scotland, which highlighted system integration challenges, due to the network in the North of Scotland being electrically weak.
A key delivery focus of this £1.1bn capital investment project was managing the integration risk & facilitating the extension, which is what the HVDC Centre was set up to deliver. David Gardner from SHE Transmission shared the wider impacts from the project which included £643.5 spent with UK based suppliers; 10,971 years of employment supported in the UK; 4975 years of employment supported in Scotland and £265.5m gross value added to Scotland’s economy.
HVDC links are evolving across the UK. In 2018 there were only 4 HDVC links into the GB grid. Today there are 7 links including Western Link, Nemo and Caithness-Moray. In 2027 there are plans to have 21 links, which reflects the growth in this market.
Simon Marshall introduced the HVDC Centre and explained the Simulation and Training facilities at the Centre to support all HVDC schemes.
We use the replicas of the control and protection hardware, to run the simulation. The equipment we have at the Centre are copies of the kit that is installed on-site. The Centre uses RTDS® computers to run real-time realistic simulations to test what will happen in reality, to de-risk deployment and operation.
As HVDC projects evolve, the Centre will be able to identify and resolve interactions between schemes. The Centre is also building a portfolio of training courses including a 3-day RTDS training course & introduction to HVDC. The Centre also delivers a programme of innovation project both with partners (incl EPRI, University of Strathclyde and Cardiff University) and led by the Centre (including the Irish Sea Grid and multi-vendor multi-terminal investigations).
The next phase of the Caithness-Moray project is the planned expansion to Shetland, which will be the first multi-terminal HVDC scheme in Europe.