ABB Seals $450 Million Order to Link U.K. and Norway Power Grids

ABB Ltd. secured a $450 million order to link the Norwegian and British electricity grids, improving the reliability of energy supply in the two countries.

The 730-kilometer (450 miles) subsea power connection being built for Stattnet SF and National Grid Plc will start operating in 2021, the Zurich-based company said in an e-mailed statement. The deal, which includes high-voltage direct current converter stations at both ends of the so-called North Sea Network Link, will be booked in ABB’s third quarter.

The contract is a boon to ABB Chief Executive Officer Ulrich Spiesshofer, who has been working to turn around the loss-making power systems division since taking over in 2013. The deal “underlines that our power systems division is making solid progress on its return to profitable and sustainable growth,” Spiesshofer said in the statement.

The link between Norway and Britain is intended to help reduce the unreliability of renewable energy sources. Wind turbines do not always generate energy when demand is strongest and the 1,400-megawatt connection will transmit excess electricity to Norway when supply exceeds demand in Britain.

It will then be used to pump water into reservoirs, which can be used to generate electricity in hydroelectric plants and flow back to the U.K. when the wind isn’t blowing and energy demand is high.

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