ABB wins $87m order to expand capacity of power transmission system in Los Angeles

16 December 2008 – ABB has won an order worth $87m to expand and strengthen the power transmission network in the area of Los Angeles, California, so that it can deliver more electricity from renewable sources.

The capacity of the 22-year-old Intermountain Power Project Southern Transmission System will be increased by 25 percent to 2400 MW by 2010. The upgrade is part of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s (LADWP) goal to bring 20 per cent of power to customers from renewable energy sources by the end of the decade.

“ABB is proud to be a part of this project, which is very much in line with our focus on increasing energy efficiency and leveraging the power of renewables,” said Peter Leupp, head of ABB’s Power Systems division.

Intermountain Power Agency and LADWP, the operating agent, selected ABB to upgrade the high-voltage direct current (HVDC) system with a state-of-the-art control and protection system, MACH2, as well as efficient cooling systems for the valves that convert the current from AC to DC and back, and additional AC filters to strengthen the quality of the power supply.

ABB pioneered HVDC transmission technology more than 50 years ago and has extensive experience in both new installations and refurbishments in the sector. ABB remains the world leader in this high-efficiency technology, with over 60 HVDC projects around the world, providing a total transmission capacity of more than 48 000 MW.

The project implementation for LADWP will cause minimal disruption to existing services, with 75 per cent of the system’s capacity being maintained during the refurbishment. LADWP, the largest municipal utility in the U.S., delivers reliable water and electric service to around 3.8m residents and businesses.