Moyle Interconnector modernisation scheme to run until 2022

A major upgrade of a vital power link between Northern Ireland and Scotland is underway.

Thursday, 18th June 2020, 5:42 pm
Moyle Interconnector site at Co Antrim.

Siemens Gas and Power (Siemens Energy) has been awarded the project to refurbish the Moyle Interconnector between Islandmagee in Co Antrim and Auchencrosh, Scotland.

Owned and operated by Mutual Energy, the high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) system is almost two decades old and is being modernised to enhance its operation.

The refurbishment of the 500-megawatt interconnector, scheduled to be completed in September 2022, will increase the security and reliability of the power supply to consumers in the United Kingdom, the company says.

Paddy Larkin, chief executive of Mutual Energy, commented: “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 honour 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.”

Speaking about the complex project, Hauke Jurgensen, head of Large Transmission Solutions at Siemens Energy, said: “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.

“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.”

The Siemens Energy team in the UK, who have held the long-term service agreement for the link, will work alongside German colleagues to complete the refurbishment.

Anne Thornton, head of Service Power Transmission, Siemens Energy GB&I, said: “The Moyle Interconnector has served as a valuable infrastructure asset by transmitting power between Scotland and Northern Ireland since 2001. With the modernisation, the first major upgrade of the HVDC link has started in March.

“The team in the UK has been responsible for servicing this link since it opened and we’re pleased to work on this upgrade, which will allow it to keep pace with recent developments in the energy market and secure its reliable operation.”

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