HVDC Converter Station Facilitates Power Flow Control, Integrates Renewables into the Grid
The transmission systems in the Upper Peninsula (UP) and northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan are connected through submarine cables across the Straits of Mackinac. In recent years, the addition of new power sources, such as wind power, has provided a substantial increase in the electricity flowing from west to east across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
This addition of new power sources placed the submarine cables at the Straits of Mackinac and the electric power transmission system in the UP under significant stress. The American Transmission Co. (ATC) was forced to operate its system in the UP in a “split” configuration (i.e., the eastern and western sides of the system were not connected together) for long periods of time. Operating in this manner allowed the system to provide power to consumers, but maintenance and upgrades were extremely difficult, if not impossible, to carry out and the possibility of power interruptions remained high.