ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has successfully commissioned a power link from the southern Norwegian mainland grid to BP’s Valhall multi-platform complex in the North Sea. The HVDC Light (high-voltage direct current) link is a highly reliable, cable based state-of-the-art power transmission system that will enable power from shore to supply the offshore complex. The power link will allow BP to substitute the use of offshore gas turbines to generate electric power thereby eliminating up to 300,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions a year - equivalent to the annual emissions of around 125,000 modern European cars.
“Replacing gas turbine generators with power from the shore supplied through this HVDC link means that we lower our operating and maintenance costs significantly. It also enhances safety and facilitates risk management through the elimination of gas ignition sources,” said Duncan MacLeod, Power from Shore Project Manager at BP in Norway. “Other advantages include improvements in the working environment by eliminating exhaust fumes and lowering platform noise and vibration levels.”
The installation includes one converter station onshore connected by an HVDC submarine cable to a second converter on the platform, about 294 kilometers offshore. It allows 78 megawatts (MW) of power to be supplied from the mainland to run the field facilities, including a new production and living quarter platform. The new platform is being commissioned by BP to replace some of the existing platforms at the Valhall oil and gas field during the next year.
“HVDC Light is a reliable, efficient and proven technology that enables remote platforms to receive power from shore, avoiding fossil fuel-based offshore generation,” said Martin Gross, head of the Grid Systems business, a part of ABB’s Power Systems division.” It is also ideal for connecting remote offshore wind farms to mainland networks, overcoming distance limitations and grid constraints, while ensuring minimal electrical losses and efficient performance.”