The world’s first ultra-high-voltage direct current (UHVDC) transmission link, the Xiangjiaba-Shanghai project, will go into commercial operation this month, operator ABB has announced.

The ±800kV Xiangjiaba-Shanghai UHVDC link has the capacity to transmit up to 7,200MW from the Xiangjiaba hydropower plant in southwest China to Shanghai.

The new link will supply power to about 24 million people, and sets a new benchmark in terms of voltage levels and transmission capacity, superseding the 600kV Itaipu transmission line in Brazil.

As part of the project, ABB was responsible for overall system design and supplied the main equipment.

The scope of delivery includes 28 high- and ultra-high-voltage converter transformers, thyristor valves, switchyard equipment and the newly developed DCC800 HVDC control system, ABB said.