The +/-800 kilovolt (kV), 6,000-megawatt (MW) link has the capacity to meet the electricity needs of more than 80 million people and 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 supports the Indian government’s mission and the UN Sustainable Development Goal No. 7 of increasing access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all.
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 were key to this achievement.
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 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy by 2030.
Using HVDC helps to conserve the environment by only occupying about one-third of the land compared to a traditional AC link. In this case, that amounts to a saving of approximately 130 square kilometers – equal to a quarter of the area of Mumbai.
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.
Hitachi ABB Power Grids is the global market leader in HVDC technology. The company has an impressive HVDC track record in India, where it introduced the 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 North-East Agra link.
“We strive to be a socially responsible business. Supporting society and protecting our people is at the center of our operations,” said N Venu, Managing Director and CEO, Hitachi ABB Power Grids in India. “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.”