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DNV GL opens world’s first ultra-high voltage testing facility for super grid components

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KEMA Laboratories 2017
First ever facility capable of testing power transformers up to 800 kV and switchgear up to 1200 kV.
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ARNHEM, the Netherlands - 5 October 2017  - DNV GL, the world’s largest resource of independent energy experts and certification body, today officially opens its expanded and upgraded KEMA High-Power Laboratory (HPL). Following a EUR 70 million investment, the newly extended test lab is the world’s first – and currently only – facility capable of testing ultra-high voltage (UHV) electrical grid components. The new laboratory will help the power industry successfully transition to so called “super grids” for a safe and reliable supply to meet rapidly growing demand for sustainable electricity.

Energy – and particularly electricity – is increasingly important to modern life. DNV GL’s recently published Energy Transition Outlook 2017 predicts that electricity consumption will rise by 140% by 2050. What’s more, with countries striving to meet their Paris Agreement targets, wind and solar will play a much greater role – accounting for as much as 80% of global electricity production by 2050.

Meeting this rise in demand while increasing the proportion of electricity from renewables requires so-called super grids. These are large-scale electricity transport networks operating at voltages of 800 kV and above. Super grids can both increase grid capacity and connect remote wind and solar farms to energy consumers.

The social and financial consequences of a power outage are huge, making grid reliability critically important. Most high-impact power outages are caused by a failure in a single grid component. Equipment certification based on global industry standards allows component manufacturers, power utilities and network operators to verify the quality of a component before it is installed and thus reduce the risk of outages.

For the first time ever, the extended KEMA High Power Laboratory in Arnhem, the Netherlands gives the power industry access to the extreme power and voltage levels needed to rigorously test the UHV components that are being used to build super grids.

“Today we celebrate both the opening of the world’s first facility for testing super grid components and 90 years of our involvement in the electricity transmission and distribution sector through our KEMA laboratories. In a cleaner, more electrified world, testing remains crucial in delivering safe and reliable electricity to society,” said Ditlev Engel, CEO of DNV GL’s energy business, “The demand for large-scale electricity transport networks will increase drastically in the years to come. As an independent partner for quality assurance, we continue to be 100% committed to supporting the energy industry in their next steps towards a more sustainable energy future.”

“The new KEMA High Power Laboratory is a unique and invaluable resource for the whole power industry. For us as an innovation leader in transformers, testing plays an important role in developing our cutting-edge products. Testing at KEMA provides independent proof of the quality of our transformers. The ability to test UHV components under realistic conditions will facilitate the industry’s transition to the super grid age with real confidence,” said Beatrix Natter, CEO Siemens Transformers.

About DNV GL
DNV GL is a global quality assurance and risk management company. Driven by our purpose of safeguarding life, property and the environment, we enable our customers to advance the safety and sustainability of their business. Operating in more than 100 countries, our professionals are dedicated to helping customers in the maritime, oil & gas, power and renewables and other industries to make the world safer, smarter and greener.

In the power and renewables industry
DNV GL delivers world-renowned testing and advisory services to the energy value chain including renewables and energy efficiency. Our expertise spans onshore and offshore wind power, solar, conventional generation, transmission and distribution, smart grids, and sustainable energy use, as well as energy markets and regulations. Our experts support customers around the globe in delivering a safe, reliable, efficient, and sustainable energy supply. Learn more at www.dnvgl.com/energy. Learn more at www.dnvgl.com/energy.