Moyle Interconnector control and protection upgrade underway

Team members from Mutual Energy and Siemens, pictured working remotely, sign the Moyle Interconnector control system upgrade project contract.
Team members from Mutual Energy and Siemens, pictured working remotely, sign the Moyle Interconnector control system upgrade project contract.

The Moyle Interconnector, a high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) link between Northern Ireland and Scotland is being modernised to enhance its operation. Siemens Gas and Power (Siemens Energy) has been awarded the project to refurbish the control and protection system for the interconnector which connects the electricity markets of Great Britain and the all-Ireland Single Electricity Market.

The refurbishment will increase the security and reliability of the power supply to consumers across these islands and is scheduled to be completed in September 2022.

Speaking about the upgrade, Paddy Larkin, Chief Executive, Mutual Energy said:

“With almost 20 years in operation, the Moyle Interconnector has been a vital energy asset and we’re pleased to further enhance its operations and functionality. The upgraded control system will allow us to adapt to evolving security standards and changing grid conditions – best serving the needs of our customers and Northern Ireland’s energy requirements. It is crucial for us to ensure downtime during works is minimised so as to lessen the operational impact, and we’re pleased to have a partner that is very capable of meeting our requirements. Siemens’ diligence and collaborative approach make them a reliable and trusted partner and we look forward to their expert team safely delivering this project.”

“With its enhanced control features, the HVDC Classic system will be perfectly equipped for the future to more effectively meet the energy market’s demands”, says Hauke Jürgensen, Head of Large Transmission Solutions at Siemens Energy. “The upgraded system will provide more operational stability to weaker AC grids and will operate in a wider range of AC grid system conditions. In the future, more energy – mainly produced by renewables – can be transmitted from Scotland to Northern Ireland and vice versa.”

The Siemens Energy team in the UK who have held the long-term service agreement for the link will work alongside German colleagues to complete the refurbishment.

Anne Thornton, Head of Service Power Transmission, Siemens Energy GB&I added:

“The Moyle Interconnector has served as a valuable infrastructure asset by transmitting power between Scotland and Northern Ireland since 2001. The team in the UK has been responsible for servicing this link since it opened and we’re pleased to work on this upgrade, which will allow it to keep pace with recent developments in the energy market and secure its reliable operation.”

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