ABB has booked an order worth more than $900 million 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.
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). 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. Using ultrahigh-voltage transmission, helps minimize losses and improve efficiency. The deployment of a multi-terminal solution as compared to running separate power links, brings considerable cost reductions.
ABB will execute the North-East Agra transmission project together with BHEL (Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited), a leading Indian government-owned power company that will deliver the remainder of the project worth more than $1.1 billion in total. The project will be executed on a turnkey basis including design, system engineering, supply, installation and commissioning and is scheduled to go in operation in 2015.