Power and automation technology group ABB won orders worth around $18 million to provide plant electrification, automation and substation solutions for solar power plants being built as part of India’s push for solar energy and renewable energy.
Spread across the southern Indian states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, these projects will connect more than 850 MW of solar energy to the grid and will be among the biggest solar projects worldwide.
One of the largest of these projects, placed by the Adani Group, a diversified Indian multinational, is the 648 MW solar plant in Kamuthi, Tamil Nadu.
ABB will provide a turnkey solution encompassing the design, supply, installation and commissioning of the power plant electrification and automation systems, the pooling stations and multiple substations. This includes two 230 kV and three 110 kV substations to connect the electricity generated to the local grid.
ABB’s Symphony Plus control technology will serve as the ‘unified automation platform’ for the plant including the electrical systems, the solar inverters and state-of-the art software for plant performance monitoring, maximizing operational efficiency and ensuring grid compliance. The IEC 61850 based automation system will facilitate local and remote monitoring and control of the plant and substation assets and is another example of ABB technologies enabling the Internet of Things, Services and People.
India is endowed with a vast solar energy potential and with about 300 clear, sunny days in a year, the theoretical solar power reception, on its land area alone, is about 5,000 trillion kWh per year. Even assuming a photovoltaic module efficiency of as low as 10 percent, this would still be a thousand times greater than the domestic electricity demand projected for 2015.
But with an installed grid connected solar power capacity of around 4.1 GW (almost all of which has been added in the last four years) solar power still constitutes only 1.45 percent of its total installed power generation capacity of around 276 GW. India expects to install an additional 10 GW by 2017 and earlier this year the government announced an ambitious goal to have 100 GW of solar power installed in the country by 2022, translating into an investment target of around $100 billion.
ABB has delivered several turnkey solar projects in India and earlier this year became the first company in the country to deliver solar inverters with a cumulative capacity of 2 GW.