Back to top

Analyst Blog

ABB Ltd. (ABB - Analyst Report) announced that it has received an order to upgrade the existing Celilo HVDC (high-voltage direct current) converter station in Oregon. The contract, worth $260 million worth, was booked in the fourth quarter of 2012 and was allotted by the U.S. utility Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), a power marketing agency within the U.S. Department of Energy.

ABB’s rivals in the Electric Power Infrastructure business such as Emerson Electric Company (EMR - Analyst Report) and Quanta Service Inc. (PWR - Analyst Report) also have received similar contracts for maintenance, upgrading and modernizing of the power converter stations.

The Celilo HVDC (high-voltage direct current) converter station is an important component of the electricity link between the Pacific Northwest and southern California. This converter station, located at the north end of the Pacific DC Intertie, helps in transmitting electricity from the Pacific Northwest to almost three million households in the greater Los Angeles area.

During winter, the northwest part of the U.S. consumes significant quantities of power for heating while the south requires less but in summer, the demand is reversed with more power needed in the south for cooling. Therefore, the Pacific Intertie allows power to flow between the Northwest and Southern California smoothly by helping to balance supply with demand.

The Pacific Intertie, covering 846 miles, connects to the Sylmar converter station in the south. It is also called the Path 65 and has a capacity of 3,100 megawatts (MW).

The upgrade of the converter station will primarily include valves, controls, transformers, switchgear and cooling equipment. Further, apart from modernizing, the upgrade will also boost the capacity of the converter station to about 3,800 megawatts.

The modernization of the converter station is a vital part of the maintenance, as it ensures reliability on this important HVDC (high-voltage direct current) link by reducing risk of blackouts and helping to secure power supply in the regions it provides electricity.  

ABB, a global leader in power and automation technology and has initiated HVDC technology approximately six decades ago. Even today, ABB maintains itself as the leader in this highly-efficient technology and has completed near about 70 HVDC projects worldwide, with a total transmission capacity of more than 60,000 MW.

ABB currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Please login to or register to post a comment.

New to Zacks?

Start Here

Zacks Investment Research


Are you a new Zacks Member or a visitor to

Top Zacks Features

My Portfolio Tracker

Is it Time to Sell?

One of the most important steps you can take today is to set up your portfolio tracker on Once you do, you'll be notified of major events affecting your stocks and/or funds with daily email alerts.

More Zacks Resources

Zacks Rank Home - Evaluate your stocks and use the Zacks Rank to eliminate the losers and keep the winners.

Mutual Fund Rank Home - Evaluate your funds with the Mutual Fund Rank for both your personal and retirement funds.

Stock/Mutual Fund Screening - Find better stocks and mutual funds. The ones most likely to beat the market and provide a positive return.

My Portfolio - Track your Portfolio and find out where your stocks/mutual funds stack up with the Zacks Rank.

Zacks #1 Rank Top Movers for Zacks #1 Rank Top Movers

Company Symbol Price %Chg
SYNAPTICS I… SYNA 78.11 +8.14%
CENTURY ALU… CENX 19.88 +5.74%
GREEN PLAIN… GPRE 39.41 +5.12%
PILGRIM'S P… PPC 28.82 +3.08%
THE PANTRY… PTRY 18.41 +2.79%