Hitachi ABB Power Grids India, which is listed on the Indian stock exchanges as ABB Power Products and Systems India Ltd, along with consortium partner Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL), has successfully energised the first stage of the 6,000 megawatt (MW) +/-800 kilovolt (kV) ultra-high voltage direct current (UHVDC) transmission link connecting Raigarh in Central India to Pugalur in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.
When completed, the approximately 1,800-km-long two-way transmission line will have the capacity to meet the electricity needs of over 80 million people in India. This link will assist the country on the journey towards increasing amounts of renewable power, by bringing large amounts of renewable energy to the high consumption centres. When wind strength is low, it will support electricity demand in the south, and when it is in excess, transmit clean energy to the north.
That is also one of the key initiatives of the Government of India to increase renewable energy capacity to 450 gigawatts in the nation’s electricity mix, and is aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of affordable and clean energy.
“This is a proud moment for us. We have been involved in this project since 2016. With the completion of the first phase of the 6,000 MW +/-800 kV UHVDC project, braving difficulties posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, we will enable clean and reliable power for millions of people in the country. We are strongly committed to supporting the Government’s mission to bring 24x7 reliable power to all,” said N Venu, Managing Director, Hitachi ABB Power Grids India.
Occupying one-third of the space of a traditional AC transmission, HVDC transmission links help to conserve land. In the current case, that amounts to a saving of approximately 244 sq. km, which is about one-third the area of the city of Bengaluru. The mega project will also feature technologies selected to minimise the footprint of the transmission stations.
The consortium of Hitachi ABB Power Grids and state-owned engineering and manufacturing firm BHEL had won the order for the Raigarh-Pugalur 800 kV UHVDC transmission link from India’s national electricity grid operator Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (POWERGRID) in 2016. The project encompasses design, engineering, supply, installation, testing, commissioning of complete UHVDC converter terminal stations as well as major equipment supplies including 800 kV converter transformers, converter valves, cooling systems and control and protection technology.