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ABB secures orders to upgrade HVDC converter station in USA [free access]

January 11, 2017

ABB has secured an order worth USD100 million from the US-based Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), to modernise the existing Sylmar high voltage direct current (HVDC) converter station in California.


Commissioned in 1970, the station is an important part of the electricity link between the Pacific Northwest and southern California. The converter station located to the north of Los Angeles, is the southern station of the Pacific Intertie, a 1,360-km-long HVDC link connecting the Celilo converter station near the Columbia River, Oregon. The Pacific Intertie transmits electricity from the Pacific Northwest to as many as three million households in the greater Los Angeles area.


The key modernisation works involved digitilisation of the converter station with an advanced digital Modular Advanced Control for HVDC (MACH) control and protection system, which will act as a sophisticated hardware in the station, managing thousands of operations to ensure the highest possible reliability. It will also help to protect the transmission link from unexpected disruptions, such as lightning strikes.