Caithness-Moray HVDC Project During Delivery

The Caithness-Moray HVDC Project (CM Project) is the first HVDC scheme in the north of Scotland, and represents a £1.1bn capital investment by SHE Transmission in the electricity network.

The first phase of the project links Spittal (in Caithness and Blackhillock (in Moray) with ±320kV, 113km submarine HVDC cables. However, the scheme is designed as a three, four or five
multi-terminal scheme allowing for future extension to connect the Shetland isles and other renewable generation. The Caithness-Moray HVDC Project is a landmark project for developing the electricity network in Great Britain towards a low-carbon network; more specifically, the CM Project:

  • Enables the export of electricity from one of the most productive renewables areas in Europe;
  • Is the first multi-terminal designed project in Europe; and
  • Demonstrates how a multi-terminal grid can be developed without the use of HVDC breakers.

However, it is also a technically challenging project:

  • Connecting to a weak AC (275kV) network in the north of Scotland;
  • Designed for multi-terminal operations; and
  • Potential for multi-vendor extensions.

The HVDC Centre was able to help address these challenges and assure the delivery of this project through the use of Replicas of the control panels to test the operation of the system under a range of conditions, with a detailed representation of the AC network.

Furthermore, as the CM scheme is extended to multi-terminal operation, the HVDC Centre will have a pivotal role ensuing the operation of the complex multi-terminal controls, using the Replicas of all three terminals. The initial learning experiences from the CM project were shared at the event held in March 2019:

“The Centre has been an invaluable partner in supporting the Caithness-Moray HVDC project & providing the technical assurance that all large projects require. The team are very knowledgeable and experienced in the area of simulation and bring significant expertise to the project”. —Richard Hanson, Head of HVDC Engineering and Operations, SHE Transmission

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