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The University of Southampton
Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute

The future of HVDC in the UK Event

Figure 1*
14:00 - 15:00
7 March 2012
Building 45, Room 0045 (LT1)

For more information regarding this event, please telephone Richard Chippendale on + 44 (0) 23 80 59 31 76 or email .

Event details

There are many challenges facing the energy industry in the UK over the coming years. One of National Grid’s biggest challenges is the rapid change in energy sources and their locations, principally the move to offshore wind.

Over the next 20 years there will need to be considerable investment in new connections to the transmission system as well as significant reinforcements and alterations to the existing network in order to ensure that Britain continues to have an economic, reliable and safe power system. Seen as key to delivering this is an increased use of HVDC technology including both Line Commutated Converters (LCC) and Voltage Source Converters (VSC). It is envisaged that traditional LCC installations will be used for HVDC links embedded within the network, providing the opportunity to place assets offshore as well as providing a level of control in excess of that capable of the AC network. New VSC installations will be used for multiterminal applications and long distance (>70-100km) offshore generation connections. ENTSO-E’s vision is that by 2030 the UK and Ireland will be linked to the rest of Europe by sizable, integrated DC grids that will allow for increased ease of power transfer within Europe facilitating greater use of renewable energy and economic gains from greater access to different energy markets.

However, the introduction of any new technology comes with many challenges as the technology must be well understood before it is installed on the transmission system. This presentation will cover an introduction to HVDC technology, the drivers for it in Britain and some of the challenges that HVDC technology presents.

Figure 1: Illustrative map showing the potential use of extensive offshore HVDC in the UK by 2030 [1].

[1] National Grid, “2011 ODIS, Offshore Development Information Statement: Possible Options for the Future”, Available online:, 2011

Speaker information

Damien Culley,Technology Engineer, National Grid

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