ABB energizes first phase of India’s most advanced UHVDC power link

ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has energized the first pole of the North-East Agra 800 kilovolts (kV) Ultra-high voltage direct current (UHVDC) transmission link, which will supply clean hydropower from northeastern India to a substation in Agra, home of the Taj Mahal, and from there, feed it across north India.

The project is being executed by ABB together with Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), a leading government-owned power company, on a turnkey basis, including design, system engineering, supply, installation and commissioning for Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (POWERGRID), India’s central transmission utility.

This completes phase one of the project, which enables transfer of up to 1,500 megawatts (MW) of electricity along this link, across a distance of 1,728 kilometers. When fully commissioned in 2016, the link will become the world’s first multi-terminal UHVDC connection, capable of transmitting enough electricity to serve around 90 million people, based on average national consumption.

The North-East Agra link will help address the shortage of power in north India by transporting hydropower generated in the Himalayas in the country’s north east. This region has abundant untapped renewable resources, but load centers are thousands of kilometers away and power must pass through a 22-kilometer wide corridor of land bordered by Nepal and Bangladesh on either side.

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