Super grid revolutionizing GCC energy markets

Super grid revolutionizing GCC energy markets

By 2050, 57 per cent of electricity globally will come from renewable energy specifically, from eight different sources, including coal, oil, gas, nuclear, hydro, biomass, wind and solar, according to Expotrade. Developments like these are resulting in the availability of new technologies in generation, transmission and distribution of power.

Additionally, the rising demand and high dependence on reliable electricity supply has resulted in the need for network configuration that supports the increase of high voltage direct current (HVDC) technology to assure smart, reliable and flexible power transmission, according to Expotrade, leading to an exponential increase in the implementation of HVDC technology worldwide.

1986 saw one of the first HVDC lines. Spanning across the English Channel, the IFA 2000 is undersea connection that links up the national grids of France and UK.

In the Middle East, the Gulf Cooperation Council Interconnection Authority (GCCIA) has commissioned the first ever 400 kV super grid that connects the power network of six Gulf countries -- Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia. In a bid to combat the risk of blackouts on each national grid and share energy resources, GCCIA linked the electrical power network of all its member states.

With the HVDC main station located in Saudi Arabia, the interconnection grid covers 900 km of high-voltage overhead lines, a 37 km submarine cable to Bahrain and seven 400 kV substations -- making it the world's biggest back-to-back HVDC converter station in the world with a capacity of 1800 MW, according to Expotrade. Interestingly, the HVDC station also has a unique feature that enables the exchange of power to meet rising demand without excess generation.

Implementing a large interconnection across different continents will play a pivotal role in enhancing the capabilities of the HVDC network and mitigating the power outage issues.

Source: Smart Grid News

Smart Grid Bulletin February 2019

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