Teaming up with India’s national electricity grid operator Power Grid Corporation of India (POWERGRID), ABB is involved in a mega project worth over $640m to deliver a transmission link that will have the capacity to bring reliable electricity to more than 80 million people.
The Raigarh-Pugalur 800kV Ultra-High-Voltage Direct Current (UHVDC) system will connect Raigarh in Central India to Pugalur in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.
The 1,830km link will be among the longest in the world. With a capacity of 6,000MW - the equivalent of more than six large power plants - it will be enough to meet the electricity needs of over 80 million people in India. The two-way link will integrate thermal and wind energy for transmission of power to high consumption centres located thousands of kilometres away, supporting electricity demands in the south, when wind strength is low, and transmitting clean energy to the north, when there is excess wind power.
ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer, said: “ABB is honoured to partner with POWERGRID for this smart long distance transmission project.”
Spiesshofer continued: “Delivering reliable electricity to India’s energy demand centres is a top priority for the Indian government to support the country’s impressive growth momentum. ABB is strongly committed to India for more than a century and with this new long distance transmission link we are delivering the benefits from the energy revolution to the country, building on the strength of our strong local manufacturing footprint. With our state-of-the-art UHVDC technology, we enable the balancing of renewable and conventional electricity supply over long distances in a smart and reliable way.”
Claudio Facchin, President of ABB’s Power Grids division, said: “As part of our Next Level Strategy, we are committed to delivering cutting-edge technologies like HVDC to integrate renewables and transmit power reliably and efficiently, providing vital access to electricity and making a real difference to people’s lives.”
Facchin added: “We will leverage our extensive local manufacturing and engineering base in India and proven partnership with our consortium partner BHEL for the execution of this prestigious project.”
ABB has an impressive HVDC track record in India, where it introduced the technology over 25 years ago with the Vindhyachal project in 1989. Raigarh-Pugalur is ABB’s sixth HVDC project in India and the second UHVDC installation, following the multi-terminal North-East Agra link, which has been already partially energised and is in the final phase of completion.
The turnkey project encompasses design, engineering, supply, installation and commissioning and major equipment supplies include the complete UHVDC stations, including transformers, converter valves, cooling systems, as well as control and protection technology.
UHVDC transmission is a development of HVDC, a technology pioneered by ABB more than 60 years ago. ABB has been awarded about 110 HVDC projects, which represents a total installed capacity of more than 120,000MW and accounts for around half the global installed base.
HVDC transmission links help to conserve land as they occupy only one third of the space compared to the alternative. In this case that amounts to a saving of approximately 244 square kilometers of space – around one third the area of Bangalore or the entire city of Kuala Lumpur. The mega project will also feature technologies selected to minimise the footprint of the transmission stations.
The total project value is worth more than $840m and the balance will be executed by ABB’s consortium partner BHEL (Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited), a leading Indian public sector company. The order was booked in the fourth quarter of 2016.
The mega project is expected to be completed in 2019.