ABB is to link the power grids of the UK and Norway – supporting the integration of more renewable wind and hydroelectric power into their networks – after winning an approximately $450 million order from Statnett and National Grid.

Under the terms of the deal, ABB will supply high-voltage direct current (HVDC) converter stations at both ends of the North Sea Network (NSN) Link between the Norway and the UK.

"We are very pleased to be working with Statnett and National Grid to support the integration of the European energy market," said ABB Chief Executive Officer Ulrich Spiesshofer. "HVDC is a core technology pioneered by ABB and a key business focus in our Next Level strategy. This success also underlines that our Power Systems division is making solid progress on its return to profitable and sustainable growth."

The NSN link will have the capacity to transmit 1400MW of power passing through Norwegian and British waters. The 730km link will be the world’s longest subsea power interconnection, expected to enter commercial operation in 2021.

As part of the order, ABB will design, engineer, supply and commission two ±525 kV, 1,400 MW converter stations, using its Voltage Source Converter (VSC) technology, called HVDC Light. One station will be situated in Blyth, UK and one in Kvilldal, Norway.

"HVDC is a proven solution for the integration of renewables and the reliable and efficient long distance transmission of power, often subsea or underground" said Claudio Facchin, President, ABB Power Systems division. "This project is the 18th HVDC cross-border interconnection to be executed by ABB in Europe and we are pleased to play our part in enabling a more integrated European energy network."