GE Renewable Energy’s Grid Solutions business announced the offshore grid connection DolWin3 in the North Sea was recently successfully upgraded.
The upgrades included enhancements to the valves and control system. In addition to improving the overall performance of the grid connection system, the upgrades also reduce maintenance.
Located approximately 80 kilometers from land, DolWin3 with the offshore converter platform DolWin gamma connects the wind farms Merkur Offshore, containing 66 Haliade 150-6MW GE Renewable Energy wind turbines, and Borkum Riffgrund 2 in the south-western part of the German North Sea with the onshore transmission grid.
“The offshore grid connection DolWin3 has been transferring power from wind generation in the North Sea to the German grid since the third quarter of 2018. The updates that have recently been tested and certified give us confidence that our grid connection will still be stable and reliable in the future as we move toward our ultimate renewable energy goals in the future,” said Marco Kuijpers, Director Large Projects Offshore of TenneT. “In all these years of trustful cooperation, we have always had a solution-oriented partner in GE.”
The DolWin3 project uses Voltage Source Converter (VSC) technology, the newest HVDC technology featuring highly specialized power electronics, which allow for enhanced operational capability, greater power and frequency control, compared with line commutated converter (LCC) technology.
“The completion of the final certification tests for DolWin3, along with our recent award of the Sofia HVDC link, are further evidence that GE’s Voltage Source Converter technology is now well established and that GE has the ability to commercially deliver on these solutions,” said Raj Iyer, Head of Grid Integration Solutions for GE’s Grid Solutions business. “The DolWin3 upgrades incorporate learnings from our recently released industry leading second-generation VSC valve and eLumina™ control system.”
In July 2017, the heart of the DolWin3 grid connection, the DolWin gamma converter platform, was installed at sea. The platform, built in Warnemünde, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, covered a six-day journey along the German and Danish coasts to its final location in the North Sea. Just over one year later, in the third quarter of 2018, the 900-megawatt (MW) grid connection was put into operation, supplying more than one million households with clean wind energy.
GE’s Grid Integration Solutions division, which is comprised of HVDC and FACTS technologies, designs and integrates transmission solutions that help meet the world’s ever-evolving power needs. GE is a pioneer in the development of HVDC systems. GE developed the thyristor valve, the key component in LCC technology used by all companies in the industry today. GE provides two different HVDC technological solutions: Line Commutated Converters (LCC) and Voltage Source Converters (VSC) which are available in multiple configurations including overhead line (point-to-point, back-to-back), submarine/land cable and offshore. Both technologies are being integrated with GE’s digital platform, which will provide next-generation analytics for improved customer operational efficiency and reliability.
“HVDC technology plays a major role in supporting the long-term growth of the renewable energy industry throughout the world. We are proud to work together with visionary customers like TenneT to enable millions of people access to clean energy thanks to our technology,” added Iyer.