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Caithness Moray HVDC Link

The Integration of renewable power generation and reinforcement of the existing AC-grid through a unique multiterminal system solution ensures reliable power to the people of Scotland.

With the Caithness-Moray HVDC Link, SHE Transmission undertook a major strengthening of its power network, serving the north of Scotland, to accommodate the rapid growth in generation of electricity from renewable sources. The transmission link plays a significant role by enabling efficient transmission and integration of more renewable power into the Scottish grid.

A subsea link connects the electricity grid on either side of the Moray Firth in Northern Scotland using HVDC Light® technology. It has the capacity to carry up to 1,200 MW (megawatts) of electricity, equivalent to the electricity needs of about two million Scottish people.

As part of the project, Hitachi Energy designed, engineered, supplied and commissioned two land-based 320 kV HVDC Light converter stations, one rated 1,200 MW at Blackhillock in Moray and another rated 800 MW situated at Spittal in Caithness. Submarine and underground cables cover in total a transmission length of nearly 160 kilometers.

The link was designed and constructed to accommodate an additional connection with the Shetland Islands – creating the first multiterminal VSC HVDC in Europe and the second in the world. A third link, called the Shetland Link is now under delivery by Hitachi Energy.   

The link also benefits from a five-year service agreement, which includes 24/7 phone support, training, remote access, ground maintenance, spare parts, facility management, and preventive and corrective maintenance.

Main data
Commissioning year: 2018
Power rating: 800MW, 1,200 MW
No. of poles: 2
AC voltage: Spittal side: 275 kV
Blackhillock side: 400 kV
DC voltage: ±320 kV
Main reason for choosing HVDC: Length of subsea cable, reinforcing AC network, connecting renewables
Application: Interconnecting grids