ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has booked an order worth more than Rs. 4000 crores from Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd., to deliver an ultrahigh-voltage direct current (UHVDC) transmission system. The link will supply hydropower from mountainous northeast India to the populous region of Agra in central India, 1,700 kilometers away.ABB in India will book over Rs.500 crores of the total order value for local equipment supplies and will additionally contribute to the project with design and engineering services. Northeast India has abundant hydropower resources scattered over a large area, while the load centers are often located thousands of kilometers away. India plans to create pooling points in the region to collect electricity generated from several hydropower stations and transport it across power superhighways to major urban load centers.The UHVDC link, operating at 800 kilovolts (kV) will have a converter capacity of 8,000 megawatts (MW), the highest ever built. When operating at full capacity, it will have the means to supply electricity to 90 million people based on current figures for average national consumption.
The system will be the world’s first multi-terminal ultrahigh-voltage link and will have three converter stations. Two “sending” stations will convert power from alternating current (AC) to DC for transmission over a single power line and deliver electricity to a third, “receiving” station in Agra where it will be converted back into AC for distribution to end users. The power link will pass through the so called "chicken neck area"; a very narrow patch of land (22 km wide x 18 km long) in the state of West Bengal, which borders Nepal and Bangladesh. Using ultrahigh-voltage transmission, helps to minimize losses and improve efficiency. The deployment of a multi-terminal solution as compared to running separate power links, brings considerable cost reductions.“We are a fast growing economy with an increasing demand for electricity." said Bazmi Husain, Country Manager and MD of ABB in India. "ABB has facilitated the development of India's power infrastructure for decades. Having introduced several new technologies to the country, including HVDC and successfully executed several subsequent projects, we are proud to have been awarded this landmark order that will set new global benchmarks."