ABB has been selected by Hydro-Québec, Canada, for an upgrade of a high-voltage, direct current (HVDC) converter station. The 25-year-old 1000-MW Châteauguay back-to-back HVDC station will be equipped with ABB’s control and protection system, MACH 2.

"ABB’s well-proven HVDC control technology, MACH 2, will improve the performance and extend the life of the converter station," said Peter Leupp, head of ABB's Power Systems division. "Upgrading of HVDC plants is a good illustration of ABB’s long term commitment to the protection of investments in the transmission industry."

The MACH 2 system is the world’s most commonly used control system for HVDC and FACTS (flexible AC transmission systems) with over 400 systems in operation. It is used in all types of HVDC installations from small, but very demanding, HVDC Light installations, to large, 3,000-MW power links.

Recent upgrade projects delivered by ABB include the Square Butte and the CU HVDC links in the U.S., the two Skagerrak HVDC links in Scandinavia and the on-going refurbishment of the Apollo converter station of the Cahora Bassa HVDC link in Southern Africa.

The new control and protection system in Châteauguay will be commissioned during April and May in 2009, with an outage time of only seven weeks. Since the station comprises two blocks and each block will be renovated separately, the station will maintain at least half of its capacity during the installation period.