SOURCE: National Grid

National Grid

November 03, 2015 11:43 ET

Happy 25th Birthday to New England's Own and US's First Major HVDC Electric Transmission System

Canada-New England Interconnector Has Delivered Carbon-Free Energy Safely and Reliably for a Quarter Century, Helping to Power the Six-State Region

WALTHAM, MA--(Marketwired - Nov 3, 2015) - As policymakers, customers and others debate New England's energy future, as much as 2,000 megawatts of clean, carbon-free electricity continues to flow from Canada into central Massachusetts across a 960-mile, 450 kilovolt transmission system just as it has done for the past 25 years.

National Grid is the majority owner of the US portion of the high-voltage direct-current, or HVDC, system, and operates the US portion on behalf of some 35 other companies. The system was designed by ABB, a world leader in power and automation technologies. When it was placed in service in 1990, the Canada-New England HVDC system was the first of its kind in the world, and to this day remains the largest HVDC system in the eastern US.

National Grid and ABB officials today joined National Grid employees who work at the Sandy Pond Converter Station in central Mass. to celebrate the system's silver anniversary, which occurred on November 1. The Sandy Pond facility is the southern terminus of the HVDC system.

"When this system was built, it was way ahead of its time, delivering a tremendous amount of zero-carbon electricity to our region long before clean energy was on most peoples' minds," said Rudy Wynter, president and COO of National Grid's FERC-regulated businesses. "As we look to secure New England's long-term energy future, we see HVDC transmission as an enabler to unlock and deliver significant additional amounts of affordable, clean energy supply." Wynter added, "Increasing our clean energy supply will help mitigate climate change, diversify our regional energy portfolio and meet state clean energy requirements."

HVDC is a very efficient technology for transmitting large amounts of electricity over long distances because it minimizes power losses. It is particularly effective in point-to-point delivery applications such as bringing large amounts of clean energy from one region to another.

National Grid has significant experience with HVDC development in the US and Europe. In addition to the Canada-New England HVDC system, National Grid is also a major investor in Clean Line Energy, which is developing several HVDC transmission projects that will bring wind power from the Midwest to population centers across the nation's midsection.

National Grid has joined forces with Anbaric Transmission to form the Green Line Infrastructure Alliance, which proposes to build long-haul HVDC transmission systems to deliver wind energy, firmed up by hydropower to New England. The Alliance will initially develop the Vermont and Maine Green Lines, which will carry significant amounts of wind power and hydroelectricity from New York, Canada and Maine.

In addition to having major operations in the US, National Grid owns and operates the electricity transmission system in England and Wales. That system is linked to France and the Netherlands by HVDC interconnectors the company jointly developed, owns and operates. National Grid is also developing proposals for a number of additional HVDC projects that would interconnect with other European countries.

"We're proud of National Grid's leadership in developing HVDC transmission to connect customers to the energy they need," Wynter concluded. "But we're even more proud of the dedicated employees who keep Sandy Pond and all of our facilities running safely and reliably, and we look forward to powering our communities and our region for years to come."

About National Grid

National Grid (LSE: NG) (NYSE: NGG) is an electricity and natural gas delivery company that connects nearly 7 million customers to vital energy sources through its networks in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. It is the largest distributor of natural gas in the Northeast. National Grid also operates the systems that deliver gas and electricity across Great Britain. Through its U.S. Connect21 strategy, National Grid is transforming its electricity and natural gas networks to support the 21st century digital economy with smarter, cleaner, and more resilient energy solutions. Connect21 is vital to our communities' long-term economic and environmental health and aligns with regulatory initiatives in New York (REV: Reforming the Energy Vision) and Massachusetts (Grid Modernization). For more information please visit our website:www.nationalgridus.com, or our Connecting website. You can also follow us on Twitter, watch us on You Tube, Like us on Facebook and find our photos on Instagram.

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