‘World’s first’ ultra-high voltage test centre opens

A test facility for ultra-high voltage grid components, claimed to be the world’s first, has been opened in the Netherlands. Certification body DNV GL has expanded and upgraded the KEMA […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

A test facility for ultra-high voltage grid components, claimed to be the world’s first, has been opened in the Netherlands.

Certification body DNV GL has expanded and upgraded the KEMA High-Power Laboratory (HPL) in Arnhem at a cost of around €70 million (£62.5m).

The firm says it will help the power industry successfully transition to using ‘super grids’, which will be necessary to provide a safe and reliable supply of sustainable electricity in the future.

Power consumption is expected to rise by 140% by 2050, with renewables needing to play a greater role due to climate change mitigation obligations such as the Paris Agreement.

The large scale electricity transport networks, which operate at around 800kV, can both increase grid capacity and connect remote wind and solar farms to faraway energy consumers.

To avoid the high social and financial consequences of power outages, the components involved need to be rigorously tested before use.

Beatrix Natter, CEO of Siemens Transformers, said: “The ability to test ultra-high voltage components under realistic conditions will facilitate the industry’s transition to the super grid age with real confidence.”