The SunZia Transmission Project, enabled by HVDC Light®, links New Mexico’s wind farms to Arizona’s grid, increasing renewable energy to the Western States.
Zurich – Hitachi Energy, a global technology leader that is advancing a sustainable energy future for all, has been selected by Pattern Energy to supply its high-voltage direct current (HVDC) and other advanced technologies for the SunZia Transmission Project. It will connect the 3,500-megawatt(MW) SunZia Wind project in New Mexico to the power grid in Arizona and Southern California, which will be among the world’s largest transmission links delivering renewable energy.
Hitachi Energy’s HVDC Light® technology will efficiently transfer and integrate huge volumes of wind power over more than 885 kilometers (550 miles) into the regional power grid. This will significantly increase the availability of sustainable energy for homes and businesses throughout the region.
When complete, SunZia Wind will have a total power capacity of 3,500MW, enough clean, renewable electricity to provide power to approximately three million Americans.1 The HVDC link will efficiently transmit up to 3,000MW of this power west to Arizona. The HVDC Light® system will be the largest voltage source converter (VSC) installation in the United States, one of the largest worldwide, and one of the country’s longest HVDC connections.
“We are proud to be advancing a sustainable energy future for all in the southwestern United States, enabling Pattern Energy to integrate emission-free electricity into the regional grid serving Arizona and Southern California,” said Niklas Persson, Managing Director of Hitachi Energy’s Grid Integration business. “Our market-leading HVDC technologies combined with our execution expertise makes us the partner of choice to help the U.S. achieve its carbon-neutral targets by efficiently and reliably maximizing its renewable energy resources.”
“Our collaboration with Hitachi Energy is an important milestone for the SunZia Transmission Project and will enable us to harness and carry this great energy potential to the areas where there is a high demand for renewable energy,” said Hunter Armistead, CEO of Pattern Energy. “The use of HVDC technology will enhance power grid reliability and resilience and play a vital role in delivering clean energy and deploying a sustainable energy system in the U.S.”
The SunZia Transmission project is a 3,000MW HVDC link between Corona, New Mexico and Pinal County, Arizona. Hitachi Energy has already started work on designing and engineering the two HVDC Light® converter stations, one at either end of the link. The transmitting station converts the power from AC to DC for transport in the overhead lines, then back to AC for integration into the receiving grid.
Hitachi Energy has partnered with Quanta Services, Inc. (Quanta) to provide a turnkey project solution for the SunZia project, including managing the HVDC construction and building installation at the associated project sites. Quanta is an industry leader providing specialized infrastructure solutions to the utility, renewable energy, communications, pipeline, and energy industries. The collaboration with Quanta is designed to leverage the core competencies of the two companies to deliver a best-in-class solution for the project. The HVDC converter stations are expected to be in-service by the end of 2025 to support final testing and commissioning of the SunZia Wind facilities in 2026.
To find the optimal solution that considers the impact of the new facility on the existing grid, a system study and a comprehensive interconnection and system impact analysis were conducted by Hitachi Energy´s expert consultants.
Hitachi Energy will also supply ‘alternating current (AC) chopper’ technology to help restore power if the power flow on the DC line or in the AC grid in Arizona is temporarily interrupted by weather and other contingency events.
Hitachi Energy has delivered more than half of the HVDC projects in North America. 2 These include the Pacific Intertie transmission system, which transfers electricity from the Pacific Northwest to Los Angeles, the Quebec-New England link, which was the first large-scale multi-terminal HVDC transmission system in the world, and the Maritime link, which connects the Islands of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, supporting the integration of renewable energy sources and improving grid stability. The company has also recently announced new HVDC projects including Champlain Hudson Power Express3, the Châteauguay4 converter station modernization with Hydro Quebec, and the InterMountain Power Project5.