Mechanical installation set to begin at Riel Converter Station

Voith Hydro Canada and Stuart Olson Industrial Constructors Inc. are ready to begin the mechanical portion of the installation process at the Riel Converter Station, which is under construction in southern Manitoba. Essential equipment assemblies are currently making their way to the site so that the four Synchronous Condenser units can be installed at the station. The station is part of Manitoba Hydro’s Bipole III Transmission Line Project.

The first major piece of equipment, one of the stators, or the stationary portion of the Synchronous Condenser, left Trois-Rivieres (Québec) by rail and is scheduled to arrive on site this month. In the meantime, the first rotor, designed and manufactured in Voith Headquarters in Heidenheim, is currently crossing the Atlantic Ocean towards its final location. This major project relies on the logistics, scheduling, and management of thousands of parts for the installation, involving special shipments by boat and train for the rotors and the Main HV transformers.

In May 2015, Manitoba Hydro awarded a contract to the Consortium Voith Hydro Canada-Stuart Olson for the engineering, supply, construction and commissioning of four synchronous condenser stations within the Riel station.

“The timely delivery and installation of the synchronous condensers by Voith Hydro Canada-Stuart Olson is critical to the Bipole III Transmission Line Project’s success and the arrival of the first components at Riel will mark an important milestone as we work towards completion in July 2018,” said Shane Mailey, vice-president of transmission at Manitoba Hydro.

The Bipole III project requires synchronous condensers at the Riel Converter Station in order to support the operation of the high-voltage direct current (HVDC) equipment and conversion of DC power to AC power for the southern Manitoba power grid. The synchronous condensers will provide additional reactive power for the HVDC conversion process while also controlling the AC voltage on the 230kV bus at Riel to ensure reliable operation of Bipole III.

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