The development in subsea technology relies increasingly on sophisticated and power-intensive equipment, such as pumps, compressors, processing, and flow assurance systems, for which there is a growing need to provide ultra-reliable electrical power transmission, distribution and conversion systems in order to supply subsea processing equipments through long step-outs.

In May 2015, the 163km long Martin Linge submarine cable was successfully energised and tested, setting the world record for the longest High Voltage AC (HV AC) subsea cable. This key achievement has demonstrated the feasibility and maturity of AC subsea power transmission for long stepouts. The next technical challenge would be to develop and mature a concept where the full field development is made subsea, whilst using power from shore through a long AC step out.

This paper provides an overview of potential architectures for long step-out subsea electrical power transmission and distribution systems. The paper describes the design and main technical challenges of the Martin Linge AC transmission step-out. Finally, the paper provides an insight in the point of view of the manufacturer and operator, with lessons learned in a successful development of a power from shore solution.

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