Grid Solutions upgrades 300MW HVDC link in South Korea

12 February 2020 (Last Updated February 12th, 2020 14:22)

Grid Solutions, a part of GE Renewable Energy business, has completed an upgrade of a 300MW high-voltage direct current (HVDC) link between the South Korean mainland and Jeju Island.

Grid Solutions upgrades 300MW HVDC link in South Korea
A converter in the Jeju-Haenam HVDC refurbishment project using the updated H450 valve. Credit: GE.

Grid Solutions, a part of GE Renewable Energy business, has completed an upgrade of a 300MW high-voltage direct current (HVDC) link between the South Korean mainland and Jeju Island.

The company upgraded the HVDC link to facilitate efficient bi-directional power transfer, including renewable energy.

Considered to be South Korea’s first HVDC upgrade ever, the project is the first commercial application of Grid Solution’s advanced Line Commutated Converter (LCC) valve technology, H450. The project also involved a control system and cooling system upgrade.

The upgraded control system enables the refurbished 300MW link and the second 400MW link to use GE’s latest algorithms to maintain grid frequency and improve operational control.

HVDC refurbishment was completed to meet the Korea Electric Power Corporation’s (KEPCO’s) 24-month deadline.

The valve technology was developed by Grid Integration Solutions, a division of GE’s Grid Solutions, at the HVDC Center of Excellence in Stafford, UK.

KEPCO Power Grid senior executive vice-president and member of the board of directors Kim Sung-Arm said: “The reinforcement of the grid to accompany the renewable energy generation objective of the Korean government is critical.

“HVDC transmission, and specifically this upgrade project for Jeju Island, is a critical enabler of this energy transition in Korea.”

With South Korea importing 98% of its fossil fuel for consumption, the government is planning to introduce a number of new energy policies to become more energy independent and cater to its growing demand.

In 2016, GE commissioned HVDC converter stations for Interconexiones del Sur (ISUR) to connect Brazil and Uruguay’s power networks.

Based in Melo, north-east Uruguay, the converter station facilitated an exchange between Brazil’s 60Hz frequency network and Uruguay’s 50Hz via a 500kV, 420km transmission line.