Sunrise Wind to be first US offshore wind project with HVDC transmission

Source: press release, 27 October 2021

photo: Ørsted
photo: Ørsted

Ørsted and Eversource have announced that they will be the first offshore wind companies to utilise high-voltage direct current (HVDC) technology as part of a US offshore wind farm, deploying the efficient transmission system for New York’s Sunrise Wind.

HVDC technology offers advantages over AC technology in electricity transmission over long distances. HVDC reduces the number of cables, improves transmission efficiency (e.g., reduces energy lost during transmission) and eliminates the need for additional electrical equipment between offshore and onshore converter terminals. While HVDC technology is currently used in the US, it has not been introduced to offshore wind energy until now.

Sunrise Wind will have an approximately 100-mile submarine transmission cable from energy production offshore to grid connection in Holbrook, New York. Due to its utility-scale 924-megawatt capacity and distance to the grid, Sunrise Wind is well-suited to deploy this technology and take advantage of its benefits, ensuring as much clean energy as possible reaches New York residents.

“As the global leader in offshore wind energy, we’re helping to advance the U.S. industry to help achieve the Biden Administration’s goal of 30 gigawatts by 2030,” says David Hardy, CEO of Ørsted Offshore North America. “This includes building the supply chain and manufacturing base, as well as bringing to the United States leading technology that will further improve efficient transmission and build workforce capabilities for this growing American industry.”

Ørsted and Eversource selected Siemens Energy, in consortium with Aker Solutions, to supply the Sunrise Wind HVDC system.

The HVDC work is part of Ørsted and Eversource’s overall USD 400 million investment in New York State to build Sunrise Wind. Portions of the HVDC work, including the onshore converter stations, will be performed by local companies. This will help create jobs and provide additional offshore wind experience to the regions’ workforce that can support a growing industry for decades. In total, Sunrise Wind will provide up to 800 direct jobs during construction, as well as up to 100 permanent full-time jobs servicing the wind farm during operations. In addition, Sunrise Wind is estimated to create up to 2,000 indirect jobs.

“Together, we’re putting the most advanced transmission technology available to work for our Sunrise Wind project,” says Joe Nolan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Eversource Energy. “The use of this technology allows us to efficiently deliver clean, offshore wind energy to the communities we’ll serve. It also signals that the country is ready to integrate large offshore wind farms like Sunrise Wind into the grid system.”

Sunrise Wind, one of the largest US offshore wind farms, is located more than 30 miles east of Montauk Point and will generate enough clean energy to power nearly 600,000 New York homes. It is expected to be operational in 2025.