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Wind Energy Update

24 Mar 2011 10:03:36

Offshore wind sector to switch to HVDC

High voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission is the proper technology for future offshore wind generation, according to the European Wind Energy Association. Currently, European offshore wind power uses alternating current (AC) transmission.

In a blog posting, the association indicated that there are a number of studies and concepts exploring the idea of an expanded, inter-connected and much more efficient grid system for Europe.

In the same posting, Carl Barker, chief engineer of Alstom Grid, said the evolution of DC grids would benefit from two different concepts currently being researched. One is a pan-European grid connecting all existing grids from northern Norway to North Africa. The other involves four to six national grids connected together. Barker also said the offshore wind sector will eventually use HVDC power mainly for economic reasons. He suggested that the use of HVDC could start in the United Kingdom's offshore wind sector by 2017.

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