Siemens to modernize the HVDC link between Northern Ireland and Scotland

June 24, 2020

Siemens Gas and Power (Siemens Energy) has been awarded a contract to refurbish the Moyle Interconnector, a high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) link between Ballycronan More in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, and Auchencrosh, Scotland.

Owned and operated by Mutual Energy, the Moyle Interconnector control and protection system is almost 20 years old and is being modernised to enhance its operation. The refurbishment of the 500 MW interconnector will increase the security and reliability of the power supply to consumers in the United Kingdom. The project to upgrade the technology originally installed by Siemens in 2001 is now underway, and the refurbishment is scheduled to be completed in September 2022.

Refurbishment of the interconnector will address the demands of the evolving electricity networks in both Great Britain and Northern Ireland. In particular, the upgrade improves the dynamic performance of the interconnector, enabling Mutual Energy to offer enhanced ancillary services. These will provide a valuable range of options to the System Operators as they seek the continued reliable and efficient management of the networks, whilst accommodating more variable renewable generation. Additionally, featuring an overload capability, the upgraded Moyle Interconnector will have greater operational flexibility.

Speaking about the upgrade, Paddy Larkin, Chief Executive of Mutual Energy, said; “With almost 20 years in operation, the Moyle Interconnector has been a vital energy asset and we’re pleased to further enhance its operations and functionality. The new system will allow us to adapt to evolving security standards and changing grid conditions – best serving the needs of our customers and Northern Ireland’s energy requirements. It was crucial for us to ensure downtime during works was minimized so as to not impact operations, and we’re pleased to have a partner that can honor that requirement. Siemens’ diligence and collaborative approach make them a reliable and trusted partner and we look forward to their expert team safely delivering this project.

“With its enhanced control features, the HVDC Classic system will be perfectly equipped for the future to more effectively meet the energy market’s demands”, says Hauke Jürgensen, Head of Large Transmission Solutions at Siemens Energy. “The upgraded system will provide more operational stability to weaker AC grids and will operate in a wider range of AC grid system conditions. In the future, more energy – mainly produced by renewables – can be transmitted from Scotland to Northern Ireland and vice versa.”