GE HVDC equipment

£225m ‘energy highway’ to secure power supply in South Korean capital

Image credit: GE Power

GE Power and Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) have signed a $320m (£225m) contract to build a 4GW ‘energy highway’ serving Seoul, South Korea’s capital city.

Through its KAPES joint venture with KEPCO, GE will provide equipment and expertise to deliver a 4GW high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission link from a power complex in the east of the country to Seoul’s metropolitan area, which accounts for around 40 per cent of Korean energy demand.

With 51.3 million people, South Korea has experienced nearly a 35 per cent growth in energy demand in the last ten years alone. This new HVDC project will increase the stability and reliability of the country’s electrical transmission grid by adding new routes for power supply, particularly as more solar and wind power capacity are added over the next decade.

The project is expected to be completed by end of 2021.

GE together with KAPES will design and supply the overall HVDC system, a 500kV HVDC bipole with two converter stations, including valves, cooling system, converter transformers, filters, switchyard, and control system. The technology is the optimal answer to resolve Korea’s environmental constraints. GE says the HVDC system has a lower environmental impact than would be the case with a traditional alternating current (AC) system.

The KAPES joint venture between GE and KEPCO is a long-term strategic relationship to co-develop HVDC projects and increase Korean transmission grid capabilities based on GE technology. In 2015 GE acquired Alstom’s power and grid business, which was the original partner in KAPES and had previously delivered other important HVDC reference projects in Korea.

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