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  • The Business Case for HVDC
  • The Business Case for HVDC
  • The Business Case for HVDC

The Business Case for HVDC

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The total cost required for an 815km AC transmission line is 1201 $M, with a cost of 1.47 $M/km, which is 1.35 times of HVDC line cost.

For a 815km transmission line, HVAC infrastructure costs about $1798 million and HVDC costs about $1445 million.

Because HVDC brings savings of up to $353 million per project versus its HVAC counterpart, increasingly, governments in Asia are evaluating the use of HVDC to connect areas with no available transmission line to the main national grid.

However, it is difficult to determine the exact cost of an HVDC system because each project has different features and circumstances. The use of international benchmarks will help guide your team understand all the important considerations and ensure that you implement correctly.


  • You save US$353 million to use a 878km HVDC line, capable of bulk power transmission of about 4000 MW at 660 kV versus an HVAC option within a 30-year lifespan of the transmission system.
  • For a 800-km long transmission line model, the HVDC voltage is kept at desired level of 400 kV, while HVAC voltage fluctuates between - 200 and 200 kV.
  • Studies reveal that the implementation of HVDC project can bring economic stability and energy security for areas not yet connected to a transmission grid.
  • Building HVDC transmission will speed the creation of a truly smart grid that enhances reliability and resilience in the face of natural and man-made threats.
  • You need to consider three important factors for successful HVDC implementation: Your technical considerations, economics and legal requirements.

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Benchmarking HVDC Implementation - 3 Success Factors

“You need to benchmark three important factors for successful HVDC implementation: Your technical considerations, economics and legal requirements,” says Center for Energy Sustainability and Economics Director, Frank Mercado.

1 Technical considerations include answering what is your: line, distance, terrain, and technology to use

2 Economic aspects of the project you need to consider are: subjecting your revenue and expense analyses through economic evaluation, against four different yardsticks: 1) discounted cash flow; 2) internal rate of return; 3) pay back period; and 4) break-even point.

3 Legal requirements would be governed by several regulatory regimes: cross-border agreements, national codes and local codes. For EU transmission for instance, regulations to take note would be: HVDC Network Code, Articles 84 - 86 as well as Articles 11- 50 of the Commission Regulation (EU) 2016/1447 establishing a network code on requirements for grid connection of high voltage direct current.

Varying price rates for HVDC—Observe Keenly

While HVAC cost of 1.47 $M/km is 1.35 times of HVDC line would cost, the range for HVDC varies widely between 0.9$M/km - 1.9$M/km.

Not getting it right would mean treading a fine line between the lower end of the spectrum at 900,000 dollars per kilometre or the higher end of the spectrum at 1,900,000 dollars per kilometer.

For an 1000km HVDC project, this could mean a leakage of up to US$ 1 billion in project costs.

Getting it right sets you off with $1 million savings per kilometer

If you do it right you get the benefit of making the best investment decisions you won’t regret. The goal is to ensure that HVDC projects are kept within benchmark rates of $1445 million per project for a 815km transmission line, but of course, it depends on the technical specification required by your project and environment.

When you get the right technical, economic, and legal advice for your billion-dollar HVDC project, you also gain clarity on project implementation.

“Our objective should be to ensure that our HVDC projects fall within 0.9$M range and below the HVAC cost of 1.47$M/km,” adds Mr Mercado.

Finding the right technical partners for HVDC, based on the environment you are working in

Finding the right technical partners is a key resource to make this happen. Your partners should understand the various possible configurations for HVDC connection specific to your environment.

Take note if your HVDC transmission line will typically face harsh environmental conditions such as mechanical loading from vibration, temperature extremes, excessive humidity and salt pollution. Also, weather and sea conditions, and marine handling impact equipment storage and transportation.

Say for offshore wind HVDC connections in operations, it could be:

  • a point-to-point connection of an offshore converter, installed on a platform, and an onshore converter4a;
  • the hybrid system, ie, a combination of subsea interconnectors between offshore grids and connection of these to shore 4a-4c;
  • Interconnection with other grids greatly increases link utilization as the link utilization of a single-purpose offshore wind connection depends solely on the intermittent character of the local wind.

Experience shows that, with careful design, these challenges can be overcome.

Access to Capital for your HVDC Solutions

HVDC Energy Highways 2020 (20-22 October 2020, Westin Bund Shanghai) is the leading international live-digital event and B2B marketplace for bulk power long-distance transmission and grid access of renewable energy sources.

To sponsor, exhibit, register as a delegate, and enlist your products to the B2B digital marketplace, visit www.hvdc-conference.com or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!

About HVDC Conference Series

Electric power is fundamental to modern society’s industrial recovery.

With growing grid access of large amounts of Renewable Energy Sources (RES), the linear energy chain now transforms into a complex power matrix of Dispersed Generation—a big challenge for smart grids to maintain system stability and reliability requirements of the Grid Code.

Innovative solutions with HVDC (High Voltage Direct Current) and FACTS (Flexible AC Transmission Systems) with LCC (Line-Commutated Converter) and VSC (Voltage-Sourced Converter) technology play an important role in the smart transmission:

  • to enable bulk power long-distance transmissions and grid access of RES;
  • to reduce transmission losses and CO2 emissions;
  • to interconnect countries and even continents for an open electricity market; and
  • to improve the transmission stability.

Attend HVDC Energy Highways 2020 (20-22 October 2020, Westin Bund Shanghai) and gain access to capital solutions and networks for your HVDC technology. Visit www.hvdc-conference.com or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to sponsor, book a space, register as delegate, and enlist your products on the B2B digital marketplace.

About AMG

Breathing Life to Industries. AMG is an end-to-end B2B event marketplace and digital platform. Promote, get funds for, and sell your products and technology for B2B.

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