Power Grid Corporation has contracted automation and power equipment supplier ABB to deliver an ultrahigh-voltage direct current (UHVDC) transmission system to supply hydropower from the northeast to Agra in central India, 1,700 km away.
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, the "receiving" station, in Agra where it will be converted back into AC for distribution to end users.
The UHVDC link, operating at 800 kilovolts (kV) will have a converter capacity of 8,000 MW, the highest ever built. When operating at full capacity, it will supply electricity to 90 million users based on current figures for average national consumption.
ABB will execute the North-East Agra transmission project, valued at $900 million, together with Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, which will deliver the remainder of the project valued at over $1.1 billion.
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.
UHVDC transmission is a development of HVDC, a technology pioneered by ABB more than 50 years ago, and represents the biggest capacity and efficiency leap in over two decades.