The contract for delivery of a major high-voltage direct current (HDVC) connection as part of Marinus Link has been awarded to Hitachi Energy. 

The approximately 345km cable route HVDC system will enable the flow of renewable power in both directions between the Victorian and Tasmanian states.

For the first time in Australia, Marinus Link will use advanced converter technology at both ends of the link to stabilise and integrate more renewables into the power grid.

The connection will enable Tasmania to import excess supply of solar and wind produced in Victoria, while reserving its hydro and storing the extra energy.

Clean hydropower can then feed the mainland grid when it is needed most, acting as a large battery for the nation. Moreover, it strengthens the security of supply in the Australian power grid in which electricity is increasingly generated from sustainable energy.

Hitachi Energy will supply its HVDC Light voltage source converter (VSC) stations in the first stage of the project, which will convert alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC) for efficient, long-distance transmission and DC to AC, where the electricity is returned to the grid.

Hitachi Energy’s Grid Integration Managing Director, Niklas Persson, said that as Australia is rapidly transforming its grid to support the integration of more clean energy sources, Hitachi is proud of its HVDC technology that will help transmit large amounts of electricity with higher stability and lower electrical losses. 

“Interconnectors like Marinus Link give customers access to affordable, on-demand renewable energy supply and increase storage capabilities.”

Upon completion of both project stages, Marinus Link will have a total capacity of 1,500MW, equal to the power needed for 1.5 million Australian homes.

In line with Australia’s net zero ambitions, as coal-fueled generation is retired, this link is expected to result in saving up to 140 million tonnes of CO₂ equivalent emissions by 2050, equal to taking approximately one million cars off the road.

Australia has committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050 and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 43 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. The lowest-cost pathway for secure and reliable electricity is from renewable energy, connected by efficient transmission systems, supported by storage and pumped hydro.

Marinus Link CEO, Caroline Wykamp, said that the company has taken another firm step towards project execution.

“With our essential HVDC systems secured, Marinus Link is poised for delivery by the end of the decade,” Ms Wykamp said. 

“Marinus Link is a cornerstone project of the Federal Government’s Rewiring the Nation Plan and is classified as urgent in the AEMO’s national energy plan.

“The Federal, Tasmanian and Victorian governments recently entered into a historic agreement for joint ownership of Marinus Link, securing it as a critical transmission project for Australia.”

Featured image: Hitachi Energy’s HVDC Light Valve Hall. Image credit: Hitachi Energy.

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