India’s Powergrid has teamed up with ABB in a mega project worth more than $640 million. ABB will deliver the 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 1830-km 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 introduced HVDC in India about 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 energized 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.
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 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.