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The interconnected electric power grid is the single largest and most complex machine in the world. Power outages, even for a short interval, have a very low probability but an enormous impact. Transmission systems around the world are facing increasing load demands, and system elements are being pushed toward their thermal limits. Wide-area power trading with varying supply and load patterns is contributing to the ever-increasing congestion. The power grid of the future must be secure, cost effective, and environmental friendly yet reliably integrated and built with intelligent solutions and innovative technologies. High-voltage dc (HVDC) transmission systems are a proven tool in tackling these challenges.