Future-proofing Manitoba's energy supplyA massive transmission line was required to ensure Manitoba’s hydroelectric power flows reliably and securely. An ambitious vision was realized thanks to Siemens Energy delivering unique solutions, while overcoming tough logistical and deadline challenges.
Siemens and Manitoba Hydro: Collaborating to create one of the world’s most advanced and powerful HVDC systems
Almost three-quarters of Manitoba’s energy needs are met by renewable hydroelectric energy generated in the north being sent southward to where most of the province’s population resides. This had long been accomplished via two transmission lines, Bipole I and II.
The two lines lie in close proximity, so both could experience service disruption should something catastrophic happen like massive flooding or a tornado.
To address that, a third line – known as Bipole III – needed to be built. In addition to its primary purpose of ensuring reliability and security, the line would also be essential for increased capacity to meet Manitoba’s growing demand - delivering energy from the Keeyask Generating Station under construction in northern Manitoba.
The vision for Bipole III was ambitious – a 2,000 megawatt, high-voltage direct current (HVDC) project spanning almost 1,400 kilometres, capable of meeting over 40% of the province’s peak electricity demand, and able to withstand bitterly cold winter weather. In short, it represented the largest HVDC undertaking in North America in the last 30 years, and one of the most advanced projects of its kind in the world.
Manitoba Hydro turned to Siemens for the system’s heart – the design of two converter stations, Keewatinohk near Hudson Bay and Riel around Winnipeg. Both required a staggering four valve halls, compared to just one in a typical HVDC project. And most impressively, Siemens had to install a highly complex control and protection system to enable a myriad of interactions with Bipole I and II.
No matter what circumstances and specific needs arise for Manitoba Hydro, whether today or years from now, the system has the flexibility to deliver, backed by superior reliability and security.
Manitoba Hydro and Siemens Energy
With Siemens leading a consortium that also featured Mortenson Construction, about 1,000 people went above and beyond to deliver expertly on what was needed, despite many extremely difficult challenges posed by the project. From frigid Arctic temperatures and very high winds to road closures and transportation limits on heavy equipment, all obstacles were overcome through teamwork, persistence, and innovation.
In the end, Manitoba Hydro is reporting the project was completed on time and under the control budget, proving just how strong the trusted partnership is between Siemens and Manitoba Hydro. It’s the latest success story in a long-term relationship, with the global reach and broad technology expertise of Siemens set to help Manitoba Hydro creatively and cost-effectively serve the electricity needs of the province’s citizens for countless years to come.
HVDC Transmission SystemSiemens designed the system, while delivering on the manufacturing, supply and commissioning of the core high voltage direct current (HVDC) technology. It’s a comprehensive solution that stands apart through a unique, highly complex control and protection system.
HVDC is ideal for Manitoba
With up to 50% greater efficiency compared to standard AC transmission, HVDC is ideal for Manitoba, where power must be transported over vast distances from remote areas where it’s produced to urban and industrial areas where it’s needed.
As a global leader in HVDC technology, Siemens was able to provide leading-edge solutions that were tailored to Manitoba Hydro’s specific requirements. This comprehensive package includes converter valves with direct light-triggered power thyristors, converter transformers, smoothing reactors, and AC and DC filters.
Thanks to the latest line-commutated converter technology, Bipole III benefits from a continuous 15-percent overload capability. In addition, DC switchgear allows isolation or connection of individual valve groups automatically without interrupting power flow.
Tying it all together is the ultra-sophisticated Win-TDC computer system from Siemens for protection, instrumentation and real-time digitalized control. It’s renowned for exceptional reliability, designed to last for decades. That’s Ingenuity for life.