Atco Electric, a provider of business solutions worldwide, has selected Alstom Grid for the replacement and upgrade of control equipment at the McNeill Converter Station in Alberta, Canada.

The station accommodates a 150MW back-to-back high voltage direct current (HVDC) link that facilitates the exchange of energy between several important North American electricity networks.

The new contract will update the existing control equipment with the latest Alstom Grid Series V digital control system. In addition, the systems upgrade will improve the performance and extend the life of the converter station.

Alstom Grid vice president Jean Nakache said: "It’s a sign of our dedication to quality and expertise in HVDC systems that Alstom Grid has been asked to return by ATCO to the McNeill Converter Station. We are happy to be able to upgrade a system that has been working efficiently for over 20 years, and see it into the next 20 years of reliable service."

Owned and operated by ATCO, the McNeill converter station is used by the Alberta Electric System Operator as part of the Alberta Interconnected Electric System. In addition, it assures that power to the most remote eastern regions while providing an energy-trading route with neighbouring Saskatchewan. The facility is the northern-most link connecting the Western Electricity Coordinating Council system and the Midwest Reliability Organization.

The McNeill Converter Station control replacement will be delivered by Alstom’s HVDC Centre of Competence in Stafford, UK, as well as to the local Canadian team.

Renewal of the equipment is scheduled for mid-2013.