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Super Grid solutions

A series of regional power grids that are interconnected with one another form a Super Grid. Together, the grids within a Super Grid have opportunities to reduce their global environmental footprint by leveraging shared efficiencies and capabilities. The environmental benefits of Super Grid solutions include:

  • Integrating distant large-scale renewable energy sources (hydro, wind or solar) with HVDC and FACTS systems.
  • Building more efficient energy highways over long distances that transmit more power (approximately 30%) in less space.
  • Reducing generation due to shared spinning reserves between interconnected regions.

GE’s Grid Solutions has a full range of solutions to help customers design and build the Super Grid, including High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) and Flexible Alternating Current Transmission Systems (FACTS). The key projects and technologies discussed below demonstrate Grid Solutions’ capabilities and experience in creating Super Grid solutions.

Dolwin 3

  • Dolwin3









    The DolWin3 Project

    The DolWin project is strategic for Germany, helping it increase its renewable energy use while reducing its oil dependency and greenhouse gas emissions. DolWin3 is the third grid connection of the DolWin wind farm cluster, located in the south western region of the North Sea. This offshore grid connection project will feed up to 900 MW of wind energy to the German grid. Its completion will allow the delivery of clean energy to approximately one million German households.

    The contract, awarded in February 2013, is on track to be completed in 2017. Once connected to the grid, the DolWin offshore wind farms will increase Germany’s wind power capacity by 50% assuming 4000 hours of annual operation. Moreover, the DolWin project will prevent approximately 17 million tons of CO2 equivalent emissions per year.[1]

    As illustrated in this video, Grid Solutions will use High Voltage Direct Current systems to transport part of this wind energy to the onshore grid with half the losses (3%) of Alternative Current.

    [1] Wind energy’s CO2 avoidance factor is 721 g CO eq./kWh. Reference: German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety

Muskrat Falls

  • Canada- Muskrat Falls - Nalcor

    Muskrat Falls Project

    Grid Solutions is the main contractor for phase one of the ambitious campaign to connect a new hydro generation source - Muskrat Falls, located on the Churchill River in Labrador north of Quebec - to an HVDC line that will create an energy corridor from the new power plant to the island of Newfoundland. The complete project will involve energizing Atlantic Canada and the New England states in Northeastern USA.

    The project will enable energy trading with other the Atlantic provinces and between Canada and USA. The new energy corridor will provide clean, renewable power – 98% sustainable energy – displacing current fossil fuel fired electricity generation used on the island. The HVDC link will reduce Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions and will use 30% less land space and lower right of way, an important decision to maintain the fragile ecosystem.

    Buoyed by the latest advances in HVDC technology, this trailblazing system is a first step to dovetail the northern Labrador Newfoundland province with the Canadian Maritimes, creating a new Super Grid to provide the transnational “power highway” linking to the United States electrical networks.

    The project includes:

    • 824 MW hydroelectric generating facility including two dams, one powerhouse and a 60-km2 reservoir
    • 1,100 km Labrador-Island 900 MW HVDC transmission link
    • 34-km, submarine 500 MW connection across the Strait of Belle Isle between Labrador and the island of Newfoundland
    • GE is to provide 2 LCC converter stations to convert AC power into DC and back to AC power, and 2 electrodes on either side of the Strait

Rio Madeira

  • Rio Madeira Project

    The Rio Madeira project is a strategic energy program for Brazil. By constructing a 10 GW hydroelectric plant in the Amazon basin and transporting two-thirds of the energy produced to the south-east populated areas around São Paulo, the plant contributes to the economic development of the Amazon area as well as the distributed region, and reduces Brazil’s oil dependency and GHG emissions.

    Grid Solutions contributes to this project by supplying the HVDC solution for the world’s longest transmission line (2,375 km) with 3,15 GW capacity.

    Key environmental benefits of this project are:

    • Increased share of renewables in Brazil’s electricity mix: 10 GW of hydro electricity generation increases Brazil’s renewable capacity by around 10%.
    • Reduced energy losses: HVDC technology enables reduced transmission losses by 50% compared to HVAC technology (from 6% energy losses down to 3%).
    • Reduction of GHG emissions: the replacement of fossil fuel generation capacity and the reduction of transmission losses leads to a reduction of about 12 million tons of CO2 equivalent per year.
    • Reduced “land footprint”: HVDC needs only one circuit (compared to 2 circuits with a classical AC system) and leads therefore to a reduced right-of-way.


  • HVDC

    High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) is a powerful solution to interconnect grids:

    • Between far-away load centers over long distances thanks to ultra-high voltage transmission systems (up to 800 kV).
    • Between asynchronous AC grids (different frequencies and/or voltages).

    HVDC is used in many countries around the world. Grid Solutions is one of the partners building the world's longest HVDC transmission line (2375 km) in Brazil.

    Environmental benefits of HVDC are:

    • Increased energy efficiency (reduction of transmission losses).
    • Increased share of low carbon "remote energy sources" (hydro, offshore wind, desert solar).
    • Reduced land use (ultra-high voltage systems reduce by 5 the footprint of transmission lines for the same quantity of transported energy).

HVDC MaxSine

  • HVDC MaxSine

    Launched in 2010, Grid Solutions’ Voltage Source Convertor (VSC), the HVDC MaxSineTM, is a good example of a new Super Grid solution.

    This technology is ideally suited for the connection of offshore wind farms to the grid and multi-terminal applications. Customers can observe the VSC technology in operation at the 25 MW VSC Demonstrator and Simulator located at Grid Solutions global HVDC Center of Excellence in Stafford, UK.

    This is the same technology that will be used to build the South West Link project for Svenska Kraftnät in Sweden, a point-to-point HVDC interconnection between two cities. This will also provide a multi-terminal link for a future project to interconnect the grids between Sweden and Norway.

    The environmental benefits of the HVDC MaxSine are the integration of large-scale renewables and a reduced footprint, making it ideal for urban and suburban areas as well as offshore substation rigs.