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Tue May 11 2021

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Siemens wins €273m contract on European electricity highway

1 Dec 16 Siemens has been appointed as contractor for a €273m (£232m) project to build two converter stations to serve a new 90km underground electricity highway linking Germany and Belgium.

The project for German transmission system operator Amprion and its Belgian counterpart Elia is designed to create security of power supply. Elia and Amprion already signed a €125 million contract with Silec Cable to build the 90km of underground cable that will link the converter stations.

The Aachen Liège Electricity Grid Overlay (Alegro) is part of the European electricity highway system. The 90km cables will connect the Belgian and German high-voltage electricity systems and the converter stations will transform AC to DC and DC back to AC on the other side of the link.

Siemens will be responsible for the system design and the supply, installation and commissioning of all components for both converter stations. Alegro is scheduled to commence commercial operation in 2020.

The European Commission has designated the Alegro project as one of its projects of common interest. The high voltage link can transport energy up to 1,000 MW to either Belgium or Germany, with a high degree of controllability of the energy flow. It will transport enough electricity to power half a million homes.

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Klaus Kleinekorte, managing director of Amprion, said: “Alegro will make the European electricity network even more secure and powerful. We can control the power flow of the cable with a high degree of accuracy and adjust the volume of electricity and flow direction.”

Markus Berger, Elia’s chief officer infrastructure, added: “Interconnections based on innovative convertor technology will allow bottlenecks in the European transmission network to be gradually decreased. Allowing for more flow exchanges will improve the working of the market and should lead to lower energy prices.”

Ralf Christian, CEO of the Siemens energy management division, said: "Alegro will feature state-of-the-art converter technology. The HVDC Plus solution from Siemens assures highest reliability and efficiency in transmitting power independent from specific weather or grid conditions. HVDC Plus masters the growing challenges from fluctuating renewables.”  

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