Hitachi ABB Power Grids in India today announced it has successfully commissioned one of India’s longest ultra-high voltage direct current (UHVDC) transmission links for Power Grid Corporation of India Limited.
The ±800 kV, 6GW link can meet the electricity needs of more than 80 million people. It stretches 1,800-kilometers to connect Raigarh in Central India to Pugalur in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. Reliable power can now be transmitted in either direction depending on demand, with exceptionally low power losses and minimal environmental footprint.
The link strengthens grid resilience and stabilizes the power infrastructure by combining traditional and renewable power generation. It enables further development and integration of sustainable energy, supporting the government’s goal of reaching 450 GW of renewable energy by 2030.
Using HVDC helps conserve the environment by only occupying about one-third of the land compared to a traditional AC link. In this case, the link amounts to a saving of approximately 130 square kilometers – equal to a quarter of the area of Mumbai.
Hitachi ABB Power Grids worked with the customer, government agencies, local authorities and suppliers to deliver the link during the COVID-19 pandemic. Responsible project execution with health and safety at the forefront was key to this achievement.
N Venu, Managing Director and CEO, Hitachi ABB Power Grids in India, said, “With the commissioning of this groundbreaking UHVDC link, we have kept our promise to enable more clean and reliable power for millions of people, helping to build a future where electricity will be the backbone of the entire energy system. During the entire project, the health and safety of our customers, employees, and partners remained our top priority.”
The consortium of Hitachi ABB Power Grids and state-owned engineering and manufacturing firm BHEL won the order in 2016 from Power Grid Corporation of India Limited. Hitachi ABB Power Grids has been responsible for delivering the UHVDC converter stations, including design, engineering, construction, installation, and commissioning, as well as major equipment, including 800 kV converter transformers, converter valves, high-voltage products and control and protection technology.
Switzerland-headquartered Hitachi ABB Power Grids is the global market leader in HVDC technology. In India, the company has introduced the HVDC technology with the Vindhyachal project in 1989. Raigarh-Pugalur is the company’s sixth HVDC project in India and the second UHVDC installation, following the multi-terminal NorthEast Agra link.