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A comparison of AC and HVDC options for the connection of offshore wind generation in Great Britain

Elliott, D. and Bell, K.R.W. and Finney, S.J. and Adapa, R. and Brozio, C. and Yu, J. and Hussain, K. (2015) A comparison of AC and HVDC options for the connection of offshore wind generation in Great Britain. IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery. ISSN 0885-8977

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This paper presents a comparison of two forms of cable connection of a distant offshore wind farm to a transmission system: AC and HVDC. The requirements of relevant industry standards in Great Britain (GB) that drive a connection design and, hence, its cost are highlighted along with an analysis of the ways in which AC cable connections might be made to comply while facilitating export of active power. Dynamic studies investigating responses to grid-side short circuit faults show that, in the particular scenarios studied, an AC connection of a wind farm in the place of a large synchronous generator is marginally detrimental while an HVDC connection is beneficial. A comparison of costs shows that the cross-over distance at which HVDC is cheaper than AC for wind farms of different sizes occurs at longer distances than have hitherto commonly been assumed, and AC connections benefit from reactive compensation not only at the point of common coupling and wind farm end but also at the connection mid-point.