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ABB to Create Transmission Link Between Offshore Wind Farm and German Grid

Swiss automation and power engineering major ABB will provide the technology to link what is claimed to be the world's largest offshore wind farm to the German power grid, in a contract valued at more than $400 million.

ABB received the order from a unit of German utility E.ON. The proposed link will use ABB's high voltage direct current (HVDC) Light technology to transmit large amounts of power underwater and underground, with minimal impact to the environment.

ABB will build a rectifier station on an independent platform 130km out in the North Sea. It will connect the 80 wind turbines situated in the Borkum-2 offshore wind power cluster to the German grid by transmitting power to a receiving station on land using undersea cables and landlines.

The wind farm is scheduled to enter service in 2009 with a combined output of 400MW. Many new wind energy development plans have reportedly emerged since a law was passed in December 2006 requiring German grid companies to connect German wind farms as soon as they are ready to be put into service, and to bear the costs of the necessary connections.

This has reportedly reduced costs for wind power developers by 25% to 30% and has significantly accelerated the growth of wind farms. Current development plans will see German offshore wind farms providing a total of 12,000MW by the year 2020.

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