ABB to build transmission 'mega project' in India

India interconnects southern power grid with 765 kV transmission line

ABB has teamed up with India’s national electricity grid operator Power Grid Corp. of India Limited in a mega project worth over $640 million for ABB to deliver a transmission link that will have the capacity to bring reliable electricity to more than 80 million people.

The Raigarh-Pugalur 800 kV ultra-high-voltage direct current (UHVDC) system will connect Raigarh in Central India to Pugalur in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

The 1,137 miles link will be among the longest in the world. With a capacity of 6,000 MW — 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 centers located thousands of kilometers 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 is honored to partner with POWERGRID for this smart long distance transmission project,” said ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer. “Delivering reliable electricity to India’s energy demand centers 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.”

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 120,000 MW 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 about 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 minimize the footprint of the transmission stations.

The total project value is worth more than $840 million 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.

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