1830 km, Rs 5700 crore: New mega power grid project to connect northern and southern India

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BENGALURU: The government has put the final touches on a massive project aimed at improving the links between power grids in the northern and southern parts of the country. The Rs 5700 crore project will include a whopping 1830-km link between Chhattisgarh’s Raigarh and Tamil Nadu’s Pugalur. Put in perspective, that’s more than the straight-line distance between Delhi and Chennai.

The project will be implemented as a joint venture between the state-run Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) and Swedish giant ABB Group, and has been commissioned by the Power Grid Corporation of India. It is expected to be completed by 2019.

The main aim of the Raigharh-Pugalur link is to connect the grids across the country, enabling the transmission of surplus electricity from one part of the country to the other in the times of seasonal excess
For instance, the two-way grid could help transfer electricity from wind-power-strong southern Tamil Nadu in to the northern regions in the windy months and the other way when wind strength is low in the south. The link will have the capacity to transfer 6,000 MW of power.
The connectivity between the various regions of the power grid has for long been a grouse of state governments, which have from time to time complained to the Centre over the unavailability of grid allocation for the implementation of power purchase agreements.

Swedish giant ABB Group has been awarded Rs 4350 crore worth of the project, and will bring its ultrahigh-voltage direct current (UHVDC) technology to the project. This requires less land along the corridor, and would help save about 244 sq km in land acquisitions, ABB said in a statement.
“ABB is honored to partner with POWERGRID for this smart long distance transmission project,” said ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer. “Delivering reliable electricity to India’s energy demand centers is a top priority for the Indian government to support the country’s impressive growth momentum,” he added.