Digital substations can contribute to India’s energy needs: Pitamber Shivnani, President, Power Grids, ABB India

ABB India will deliver an 110 kV digital substation – a one of its kind – to India’s largest information technology park ‘Technopark’ in Kerala. In an exclusive interview with Debapriya Mondal, Pitamber Shivnani, President, Power Grids Division, ABB India talks about digital substations, their utilities, concerns of hacking India’s need for a more robust grid system and how ABB as a company can help. Excerpts:

Tell us more about the digital substation you are delivering to Technopark and how is it going to help?
ABB India will deliver an 110 kilovolt (kV) digital substation to Technopark, the largest Information Technology (IT) park in India, based on built-up area, located in the southern state of Kerala and spanning an area of 930,000 square meters. Due to the nature of the industry, the campus is highly dependent on reliable, round the clock power to serve the 350 companies employing more than 50,000 people. India is today a global hub for digital services and transitioning from conventional to the digital power grid is the need of the hour. Digital substations are more dependable and flexible while reducing life-cycle cost and physical footprint

What is the kind of opportunity of setting up more such digital substations across India?
India is the third largest energy consumer in the world. Digital substations can, therefore, contribute to India’s energy requirements by rendering multiple efficiencies. The scope for digital substations could be further strengthened with factors like the introduction of more renewable energy into the grids. It can also effectively cater to the power needs for railways, IT parks or industrial campuses. Thereby further enhancing the Make in India initiatives across sectors by contributing to reliable and quality power and providing access to electricity.

Have you set up an R&D facility to develop such substations?
This is part of our existing R&D focus areas along with a range of other next level software-led solutions to power the energy revolution.

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