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ABB says it has received a $60 million order from American Electric Power to replace a 30-year-old, high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) back-to-back converter station in Texas - a project that ABB says will enable more efficient power exchange, improve grid reliability and facilitate power flow control in the wind-energy-rich state.

The project scope includes the engineering, supply, installation and commissioning of an HVDC back-to-back transmission system capable of delivering 220 MW of power in either direction. The new system will have black-start capability, which ABB says enables fast grid restoration in the event of a power outage, allowing power to be used from the other end of the link.

This is an important feature, as the converter station is an integral part of the Oklaunion HVDC transmission link - an asynchronous interconnection between the Texas (ERCOT) and Oklahoma (SPP) power grids, ABB explains.

“In addition to enhancing grid reliability and power stability, our HVDC solution will enable the efficient transmission of electricity across this important interconnection,” says Brice Koch, head of ABB's Power Systems division.

Other key components to be supplied include converter valves and ABB’s MACH2 advanced control and protection system.

The existing converter station will remain in operation during the construction of the new station in order to minimize the impact of replacing the system. The new station is expected to be operational in 2014.


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