ABB has won two US$10 million orders to upgrade the control systems for the Square Butte HVDC Scheme and the CU HVDC Project. Both are high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission systems, which link the states of North Dakota and Minnesota.

Under the terms of the contracts, awarded for the Square Butte HVDC Scheme by Minnkota Power Cooperative Inc. (Grand Forks, North Dakota), and for the CU HVDC Project by Great River Energy (Elk River, Minnesota), ABB will design, manufacture and install IndustrialIT HVDC control systems that will replace the existing control systems originally installed in 1970s.

The Square Butte HVDC Scheme was originally built by General Electric and commissioned May 4, 1977. The link, which goes between Center, North Dakota, and Duluth, Minnesota, is a bulk power transmission system with a transmission capacity of 500 MW. The link was built as a reinforcement of the AC system in North Dakota.

The CU HVDC Project, a 1000-MW HVDC bulk power transmission system between Underwood, North Dakota and Buffalo, Minnesota, was built and commissioned by ABB in 1978.

The HVDC control systems for both projects are part of ABB's IndustrialIT offering for utilities. IndustrialIT describes the ABB group commitment to bridging the gap between industrial and business assets, and the information technology required to integrate these systems in real time.

The installations are to be completed in 26 months and will be commissioned in the spring and autumn of 2004. Design and manufacture will be carried out by ABB Utilities HVDC division in Ludvika, Sweden.
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