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Energy consulting and testing and certification company DNV KEMA has announced that it will invest approximately 70 million euros in the expansion of its High-Power Laboratory in Arnhem, Netherlands. With the expansion, DNV KEMA says it will create the first laboratory in the world in the extreme testing segment for super grids, which the company defines as bulk energy transport at 800 kV+ levels (800,000 volts and above).

According to CEO David Walker, a super grids is "a wide, trans-national, or even trans-continental, transmission network that facilitates the transport of high volumes of electricity across great distances."

"These super grids facilitate the integration of large-scale renewable energy,” Walker continues. “Examples of super grids include long-distance and ultra high-voltage connections between the hydropower stations in the western part of China and the load centers on the east coast of the country, such as Beijing and Shanghai. Other examples can be found in Canada and India, and the possible connection between continental Europe and large-scale solar farms in the Sahara desert in Africa.”

Under the expansion program, DNV KEMA will increase the number of short-circuit generators from four to six at the facility, as well as extend the available testing space. Once the expansion is finished in 2015, DNV KEMA's High-Power Laboratory will be capable of extreme high-power short-circuit testing levels above 800 kV.

"To ensure safety and reliability of the energy infrastructure, equipment manufacturers need to be able to test components at these extreme power levels,” explains Bas Verhoeven, director of the High-Power Laboratory and High-Voltage Laboratory at DNV KEMA. “In addition, we will have further testing slots available to meet the high demand from manufacturers and utilities."



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