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ABB installs world's most powerful offshore converter station

Switzerland’s ABB has installed the world’s most powerful offshore wind connector station, in a three-day operation in the North Sea.

The 320 kilovolt DolWin alpha offshore converter station, transported by barge on a 9,300 tonne platform, will provide transmission capacity of 800 megawatts, converting AC power from three German wind farms into high-voltage direct current (HVDC) for transmission to the mainland.

The operation included the transportation of the platform by barge 75km off the German coast, whereupon it was lifted into place by Heerema Marine Contractors-operated Thialf, the world’s largest semi-submersible crane vessel (SSCV).

“Putting such a huge platform in place is one of the most delicate operations in the delivery of an offshore transmission link, requiring strong cooperation between the many stakeholders involved,” said Brice Koch, head of ABB’s power systems division. “This is an important project milestone in the delivery of this HVDC offshore wind connection and we are pleased it went smoothly.”

In replacing fossil fuel based power generation, The DolWin 1 is expected to avoid 3m tonnes of CO2 emissions yearly.

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