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Linxon is a leading Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) company specialising in providing power solutions to five key market segments, including the connection of renewable power generation assets to the grid, building substations for transmission and sub transmission utilities, connecting data centres to the grid, building battery energy storage plants, and delivering power supply systems for rail transportation. The result of a joint venture between Hitachi Energy and renowned Canadian engineering firm SNC-Lavalin, Linxon’s direct access to Hitachi Energy’s products and the group’s combined expertise has uniquely positioned it as the go-to provider of energy solutions for the world’s most important renewable energy projects. Richard Hagan met with Linxon’s President, Managing Director for the Americas, Nicolas Sanloup, to find out more.
Thanks to its relationship with Hitachi Energy and SNC-Lavalin in terms of their joint venture, Linxon uniquely benefits from having access to the group’s substantial products, resources, and expertise.
“We’re uniquely positioned in the construction of energy infrastructure projects as the only EPC company built from an OEM and EPC background, with advantages of direct access to resources, expertise, technology and products,” said President, Managing Director for the Americas, Nicolas Sanloup. “We’ve built our company based on this strategy of being capable of designing solutions, supplying, and installing products on our own. We’re experts in integrating technologies at a level that other EPCs generally are not.”
Powering the globe
Linxon is an EPC with a truly global footprint. It employs around 600 highly skilled staff members, working in offices spanning the globe and organised by Hubs in the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Asia, for a total count of 19 main offices while adding satellite offices as the business grow. Powered by its global reach, Linxon has a track record of successfully executing over 600 projects globally. The company is focused on sustainability, with most of its projects geared towards integrating renewable energy sources into the grid.
“We are so excited to be part of the renewable’s growth in the US. We’re involved with the first integration of offshore wind in the Vineyard Wind project,” Mr Sanloup explained. “In Q3 of 2023, this project will provide clean power to Massachusetts. Its integration will go through phases of energisation providing around 700MW of clean generated power.”
Linxon is very active in the renewable space and is supporting opportunities in New Jersey, Massachusetts, and California to implement Offshore Wind projects. Linxon signed a partnership as well with developer Available Power to integrate 1GW worth of battery storage in Texas, within the Ercot Market. Linxon’s unique mix of solutions and construction expertise has seen it become a vital cog in renewable energy projects worldwide, particularly so in the United States supporting the renewable programmes pushed by the Biden Administration. Consequently, in 2023 alone, Linxon expects its involvement in wind projects in North America and Europe to grow, consequently helping integrate 3GW worth of renewables.
“The United States wants electricity with a renewable generation mix of 42 percent by 2050,” said Mr Sanloup. “Thanks to substantial government tax and investment incentives, the renewable energy market is booming and requires a strong EPC company to support this ambitious plan.”
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Given the US and worldwide demand for new renewable energy projects, electrical infrastructure – and the frequent lack thereof – has been brought sharply into focus. Mr Sanloup highlighted the important role that electrical infrastructure continues to play in the success of these projects and programmes.
“Electrical infrastructure is the key to the success of renewable energy; it’s the backbone of our electric grid and the basis for future renewable project developments,” he explained. “If you don’t provide a solid electrical infrastructure, it will become unrealistic to meet any of the global community’s sustainability targets.
“Our Joint Venture with SNC-Lavalin and Hitachi Energy and, allows us to support this effort with access to products, technology and expertise that no other companies in the space have, and it becomes easier for us to integrate that into solutions to support global requirements.
“Consequently, Linxon has become a prime supporter and enabler to those sustainability targets. We were born with in a unique pedigree combining the best of both worlds – access to products and technology, plus the engineering and construction knowledge of SNC-Lavalin.”
One of Linxon’s key contributions to the US offshore power programme has been its partnership with its shareholders. Linxon designs, develops, and constructs large substations integrating the power from the wind turbines back to shore. These substations are unique, as they combine traditional substations and reactive power compensations to make that integration viable. Linxon has become one of the go-to solutions of choice, not only for the US, but elsewhere, including Europe.
Linxon’s substation business has also become a strong segment for growth. “The substation business within the utility space is performing very strongly,” said Mr Sanloup. “We’ve been extremely busy supporting customers to find solutions in the utility transmission and distribution space, and in upgrading electrical infrastructure; there’s a booming market across the world to prepare for renewable projects integration.”
One particular project stands out in this regard. Awarded to Linxon in 2016, the $200 million Waterfront project is an advanced new 230-kilovolt electricity substation supporting existing customers and planned development in the Capitol Riverfront and Southwest Waterfront areas of Washington, DC. Linxon had to contend with major space limitations on the site as well as other challenges, but ultimately it delivered an outstanding project.
“The execution of this project was very difficult, but we completed it on time and on budget. It has become a reference project highlighting our capabilities in North America,” Mr Sanloup said, proudly.
The Shams substation in the UAE was another highlight for Linxon. Located approximately 50km south and inland from Dubai, the Shams 400/132kV substation integrates solar power received from one of the largest solar parks in the world, into the Dubai electrical grid. Awarded in 2018, the $93 million Shams substation was successfully energised in March 2021 on a full turnkey basis. Despite the Covid-19 challenges during construction, the Linxon team managed to maintain more than 1,200 of its workforce and subcontractors on site and was able to deliver the project on time.
“We are proud to deliver another 400kV grid station into the grid and supporting bringing clean energy to our customer, on time and on budget. Our customer was impressed by Linxon’s commitment as a partner in this development journey,” said Mr Sanloup.
Concluding, Mr Sanloup shared his thoughts on Linxon’s achievements:
“Being only four years old, we have built the company with great references around the world, while being known as a major player in the industry. This is a great feeling. There’s so much that we can still achieve, and we’re proud to be delivering our specialised solutions and services during such an exciting time in history.”