New 400 MW HVDC bi-directional transmission line energizes South Korea
Alstom Grid has successfully energized the second High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) turnkey project in South Korea, following the first also delivered by Alstom in 1997. The newly energized project, awarded in 2009, establishes a 400 MW HVDC bi-directional transmission line between Jindo and the island of Jeju.
With 50 million people, South Korea is an energy-intensive nation, ranked eleventh worldwide in total energy consumption. Yet, it imports 82 percent of the total energy it consumes. Since 2006, the Korean government has developed new energy policies to become more energy independent, meet growing demand and increase energy efficiency.
Jeju Island is located 100 km south of the peninsular mainland at 73 km wide and 41 km long. Known as the country’s honeymoon and holiday destination, the island previously operated on an independent electric network; it faced frequent blackouts and unstable power supply due to the network’s lack of efficiency and low power capacity.
“Alstom supplied the first HVDC link at 300 MW between Jeju Island and the mainland in 1997. This second project, first of its kind at a power capacity of 400 MW in South Korea, demonstrates the Alstom’s efficient commissioning management, and commitment to continuous innovation in the high voltage energy management,” said Patrick Plas, Senior Vice President Power Electronics & Automation for Alstom Grid.
Alstom’s HVDC technology is well-aligned with Korea’s ambition for a low-carbon economy, and is essential to carrying large amounts of power across long distances, with minimal losses. The new HVDC link is designed to be bi-directional, where power flow goes in both directions between the mainland and Jeju Island. This ensures that increasing renewable power on Jeju Island will be integrated for mainland use.
The global HVDC market is expected to grow by €40 billion between now and 2020. In 2013, Alstom and Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) created the KEPCO Alstom Power Electronics Systems (KAPES) joint venture to deliver HVDC projects in Korea. The venture focuses on increasing Korean transmission grid capabilities based on Alstom technology.