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ABB commissions HVDC station, improving grid stability in Michigan

Back-to-back HVDC Light system to facilitate power flow control and integration of renewables.

ABB has successfully commissioned a power solution that will control the flow of power and enhance grid stability in the state of Michigan.1 The technology provides dynamic voltage support, thereby increasing regional grid reliability while enabling integration of additional wind generation.

The high-voltage, direct-current (HVDC) Light station has been commissioned on schedule and handed over to the customer, American Transmission Co. (ATC).

“The Mackinac station is the world’s first HVDC back-to-back system for transmission using voltage source converter technology," claims Hans-Peter Faessler, head of the grid systems business within ABB’s Power Systems division. "This is a milestone demonstrating how ABB can help customers achieve efficient grid control and stabilization.”

ABB designed, supplied and installed the 200 MW, back-to-back HVDC Light station in upper Michigan. An HVDC back-to-back system comprises two HVDC converters connected directly to each other, without any DC transmission line, making it possible to fully control the power transfer through the connection.

The voltage and reactive power control features of the system enable the integration of additional wind energy and stabilization of the network. Its ‘black-start’ capability allows for fast network restoration using power from the other end of the system in the case of a power outage.


1. ABB’s low-loss and eco-efficient HVDC Light technology controls the power flow between the Upper and Lower Peninsulas of Michigan


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Energy efficiency  •  Energy infrastructure  •  Wind power