ABB to deliver UHVDC link for India transmission project

The Power Grid Corporation of India has selected ABB to deliver an ultra-high-voltage transmission system, worth about $900m (£554m). The link will supply hydropower from north-eastern India to the city of Agra over a distance of 1,728km.

ABB has been chosen to execute the North-East Agra transmission project together with BHEL (Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited), an Indian government-owned power company that will deliver the remainder of the project, worth more than $1.1bn in total.

When operating at full capacity, the ultra-high-voltage direct current (UHVDC) link operating at 800kV will be able to supply enough electricity to serve 90 million people based on average national consumption.

The system will be the world’s first UHVDC link with three converter stations. Two ’sending’ stations will convert power from AC to DC for transmission over a single power line that will pass through the narrow Siliguri Corridor and deliver electricity to a third ’receiving’ station in Agra where it will be converted back into AC for distribution to end users.

According to ABB, the solution reduces costs compared with the alternative of running separate power links from multiple hydropower plants to Agra.

The project will be executed on a turnkey basis, including design, system engineering, supply, installation and commissioning. This is ABB’s second multi-terminal HVDC link — the first was constructed in North America between 1990 and 1992.