Export file:


  • RIS(for EndNote,Reference Manager,ProCite)
  • BibTex
  • Text


  • Citation Only
  • Citation and Abstract

A comparison of the technological, economic, public policy, and environmental factors of HVDC and HVAC interregional transmission

Wind Energy Science, Engineering, and Policy (WESEP), Iowa State University, Ames, IA, 50014, USA

Special Issues: Wind Power Implementation Challenges

The design of an interregional high-voltage transmission system in the US is a revolutionary technological concept that will likely play a significant role in the planning and operation of future electric power systems. Historically, the primary justification for building interregional high-voltage transmission lines in the US and around the world has been based on economic and reliability criteria. Today, the implementation renewable portfolio standards, carbon emission regulations, the improvements in the performance of power electronic systems, and unused benefits associated with capacity exchange during times of non-coincident peak demand, are driving the idea of designing an interregional high-voltage transmission system in the US. However, there exist challenges related to technical, economic, public policy, and environmental factors that hinder the implementation of such a complex infrastructure. The natural skepticism from many sectors of the society, in regards to how will the system be operated, how much will it cost, and the environmental impact that it could potentially create are among the most significant challenges to its rapid implementation. This publication aims at illustrating the technological, environmental, economic, and policy challenges that interregional HV transmission systems face today in the US, looking specifically at the Clean Line Rock Island project in Iowa.
  Article Metrics

Keywords renewable energy; wind energy; transmission systems; HVDC; HVAC; energy policy; energy economics

Citation: Armando L. Figueroa-Acevedo, Michael S. Czahor, David E. Jahn. A comparison of the technological, economic, public policy, and environmental factors of HVDC and HVAC interregional transmission. AIMS Energy, 2015, 3(1): 144-161. doi: 10.3934/energy.2015.1.144


  • 1. American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) (2013) State Wind Energy Statistics: Iowa. Available from: http://www.awea.org/Resources/state.aspx?ItemNumber=5224.
  • 2. Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) (2014) Wind Integration: Dispatchable Intermittent Resources (DIRs). Available from: https://www.misoenergy.org/WhatWeDo/StrategicInitiatives/Pages/WindIntegration.aspx.
  • 3. Navid N, Rosenwald G (2013) Ramp Capability Product Design for MISO Market. Midcontinent Independent System Operator. Available from: https://www.misoenergy.org/Library/Repository/Communication%20Material/Key%20Presentations%20and%20Whitepapers/Ramp%20Product%20Conceptual%20Design%20Whitepaper.pdf.
  • 4. Bird L, Cochran J, Wang X (2014) Wind and Solar Curtailment: Experience and Practice in the United States. Technical Report, NREL/TP-6A20-60983.
  • 5. Iowa Wind Energy Association (2010) Wind Power Facts. Available from: http://www.iowawindenergy.org/whywind.php.
  • 6. DOE (2008) 20% Wind Energy by 2030: Increasing Wind Energy's Contribution to U.S. Electricity Supply. Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Available from: http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2013/12/f5/41869.pdf.
  • 7. Parfomak PW (2011) Carbon Control in the US Electricity Sector: Key Implementation Uncertainties. Available from: http://heartland.org/sites/all/modules/custom/heartland_migration/files/pdfs/24486.pdf.
  • 8. Li Y, McCalley JD (2014) Design of A High Capacity Inter-Regional Transmission Overlay for the US. Power Systems, IEEE Transactions on Power Systems 30: 513-521.
  • 9. EnerNex Corporation (2011) Eastern Wind Integration and Transmission Study. NREL. Available from: http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy11osti/47078.pdf.
  • 10. MacDonald AS, Clack CC (2014) Low Cost and Low Carbon Emission Wind and Solar Energy Systems are Feasible for Large Geographical Domains. Sustainable Energy and Atmospheric Science Seminar, NOAA.
  • 11. Osborn D (2014) HVDC for System Expansion-East and West. Presentation, IEEE PES General Meeting, Washington, DC.
  • 12. Eastern Interconnection Planning Collaborative (EIPC) (2011) Phase 1 Report: Formation of Stakeholder Process, Regional Plan Integration and Macroeconomic Analysis. DOE Award Project DE-OE0000343.
  • 13. Wood AJ, Wollenberg BF (1996) Power Generation Operation and Control. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
  • 14. Murray B (2009) Power Markets and Economics. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
  • 15. Chaudhuri NR, Chaudhuri RM, Yazdani A (2014) Multi-terminal Direct-Current Grids: Modeling, Analysis, and Control. Wiley, IEEE Press.
  • 16. Padiyar KR (2011) HVDC Power Transmission Systems, New Academic Science.
  • 17. Lotfjou A, Shahidehpour M, Fu Y, et al. (2010) Hourly Scheduling of DC Transmission Lines in SCUC with Voltage Source Converters. IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery 26: 650-660.
  • 18. Urquidez OA, Xie L (2015) Smart Targeted Planning of VSC-Based Embedded HVDC via Line Shadow Price Weighting. IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid 6: 431-440.    
  • 19. Shahidehopour M, Yong Fu (2005) Benders decomposition: applying Benders decomposition to power systems. Power and Energy Magazine, IEEE 3: 20-21.
  • 20. de Toledo PF, Jiuping Pan, Srivastava K, et al. (2008) Case Study of a Multi-Infeed HVDC System. Power System Technology and IEEE Power India Conference, 2008. POWERCON 2008. Joint International Conference 1,7, 12-15.
  • 21. McNamara P, Negenborn RR, De Schutter B, et al. (2013) Optimal Coordination of a Multiple HVDC Link System Using Centralized and Distributed Control. Control Systems Technology, IEEE Transactions 21: 302-314.    
  • 22. Magnus Callavik, Anders Blomberg, Jürgen Häfner, et al. (2012) The Hybrid HVDC Breaker. ABB Grid Systems, Technical Paper.
  • 23. Zhang L, Harnefors L, Nee HP (2011) Interconnection of Two Very Weak AC Systems by VSC-HVDC Links Using Power-Synchronization Control. Power Systems, IEEE Transactions 26: 344-355.
  • 24. Reitenback G (2012) ABB Announces World's First Circuit Breaker for HVDC. Power: Official Publication of Electric Power.
  • 25. The Grid West Project. Tech. Stage 1 ed. Vol. 3. Dublin: Tobin Consulting Engineers, 2013. Print. Appendix 3.2.
  • 26. Rudervall Roberto, Charpentier JP, Sharma R (2000) High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) Transmission Systems Technology Review Paper. Proc. of Energy Week 2000, Washington D.C. N.p.: 1-17.
  • 27. Alberta Energy ( 2009) Assessment of Electric Transmission Technologies. Rep. N.p.: Stantec.
  • 28. High Voltage Direct Current Transmission-Proven Technology for Power Exchange. Available from: http://www.siemens.com/about/sustainability/pool/en/environmental-portfolio/products-
  • 29. Oudalov A, Lave L, Reza M, et al. (2009) A method for a comparison of bulk energy transport systems. Environ Sci Tech 43: 7619-7625.    
  • 30. Arc Math, High Voltage Direct Current. Available from: http://envirostudies.net/devlopment/hvdc/.
  • 31. Humpert C (2012) Long Distance Transmission Systems for the Future Electricity Supply - Analysis of Possibilities and Restrictions. Energy 48: 278-283.    
  • 32. Siting Wind Farms Requires Choosing a Proper Location. American Wind Energy Association. AWEA, n.d. Web. 26 Aug. 2014.
  • 33. United States. Government Accountability Office. Issues Associated with High-Voltage Direct-Current Transmission Lines along Transportation Rights of Way. By David J. Wise. N.p., 1 Feb. 2008. Web.
  • 34. van Rongen E (2010) Health issues relating to HVDC cable technology. Energy & Nat. Resources of Republic of Ireland. Available from: http://www.dcenr.gov.ie/NR/rdonlyres/C28F441C-D8BD-43D6-A15B-2744AC5F8F01/0/HVDCExpertOpinionreport.pdf.
  • 35. ICNIRP—International Commission on Non-ionizing Radiation Protection (1994) Guidelines on limits of exposure to static magnetic fields. Health Phys 66: 100-106.
  • 36. ICNIRP—International Commission on Non-ionizing Radiation Protection (2009) Guidelines on limits of exposure to static magnetic fields. Health Phys 96(4): 504-514.
  • 37. Brailey WH, Weil DE, Stewart JR (1997) HVDC Power Transmission Environmental Issues Review. Available from: http://www.cleanlineenergy.com/sites/cleanline/media/resources/HVDC
  • 38. Koshcheev LA (2003) Environmental characteristics of HVDC overhead transmission lines. Third workshop on Power Grid Interconnection in Northeast Asia. Vladivostok, Russia.
  • 39. Crane PC (2010) Radio interference (RFI) from extra-high voltage (EHV) transmission lines. Memo, Univ. Vermont. Available from: http://www.ece.vt.edu/swe/lwa/memo/lwa0168.pdf.
  • 40. Rock Island Clean Line (2015) HVDC Project in Illinois. Available from: http://www.rockislandcleanline.com/site/home.
  • 41. Moland G, Cleveland R (2012) Rock Island Project: Benefits Study. Available from: http://www.rockislandcleanline.com/sites/rock_island/media/docs/Clean_Line_Rock_Island_Benefits_Study.pdf
  • 42. Carlson JL, Loomis DG, Solow JL (2011) Economic Impact Study of the Proposed Rock Island Clean Line. Loomis Consulting. Available from: http://www.rockislandcleanline.com/sites/rock_island/media/docs/RICL%20Economic%20Impact%20Study.pdf.
  • 43. Flaugh LG (2014) Rock Island HVDC Project opposition remains befuddled. Chronicle Times.


This article has been cited by

  • 1. Guadalupe Arcia-Garibaldi, Pedro Cruz-Romero, Antonio Gómez-Expósito, Future power transmission: Visions, technologies and challenges, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 2018, 94, 285, 10.1016/j.rser.2018.06.004

Reader Comments

your name: *   your email: *  

Copyright Info: 2015, Armando L. Figueroa-Acevedo, et al., licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licese (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

Download full text in PDF

Export Citation

Copyright © AIMS Press All Rights Reserved