The 2,000 megawatts (MW) electricity transmission system, consisting of two links between Pugalur in the state of Tamil Nadu and Thrissur in Kerala, supports Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd. (PGCIL) to counter power deficit in India’s southern region and improve the grid stability. Siemens Ltd. Transmission Solutions business in India developed and built the ±320-kilovolt (kV) HVDC PLUS system in a consortium with Siemens Energy (Germany) and Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd., Japan and features for the first-time the integration of High Voltage Direct Current XLPE Cable with overhead lines in India.
In February 2021, Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, oﬃcially inaugurated the link that now have been put into commercial operation and enables the exchange of electricity in both directions. Gerd Deusser, Executive Vice President and Head, Energy, Siemens Limited, said, “We take great pride in partnering PGCIL in this landmark HVDC project. It supports the major initiatives of the Government to achieve ’24 x7 Power for all’ in the country by ensuring reliable power supply, improving the grid’s stability, and facilitating the efficient use of renewable energy. The project reinforces our purpose of driving the energy transition to more sustainable, reliable, and innovative systems.” He added, “The execution of this state of art project in midst of COVID-19 pandemic is also a testimony of Siemens’ strong localization in India in terms of Project Management skills, Engineering and Commissioning manpower which is complimented by excellent collaboration and support by Siemens Energy globally.”
Says Beatrix Natter, Executive Vice President Transmission at Siemens Energy, “Thanks also to the excellent cooperation with Sumitomo Electric, we were able to provide our customer with a state-of-the-art HVDC solution. I am very proud that the result of this fruitful collaboration will signiﬁcantly help meet India’s growing power demand and contribute to the country’s economic development.”
“We take pride in delivering PK2000, the 1st VSC based HVDC Project in India, a technically complex and state of the art project. The credit for the success goes to all the team members who toiled hard from the project development phase, sales phase, the Project delivery team at each of the offices in India, Germany and Japan, the Project office teams at the sites, the teams at all our factories who worked hand in hand in exemplary collaboration at every juncture. COVID-19 disrupted the momentum, but the team swung back into top gear as soon as the lockdown was relaxed. In the entire duration of 40 months, the project had a peak strength of 900 with more than three million person hours of work executed in the highest safety environment. POWERGRID highly appreciates our end-to-end performance and we look forward to partnering them in many more such landmark projects,” said N. Vaidyanathan, Head-Transmission Solutions, Energy, Siemens Limited.
Being resourceful with renewable energy
HVDC links enable operators to improve grid stability, power quality, eﬃciency, and supply security – all to keep at par with the rising use of renewable energy. In contrast to conventional HVDC systems, the VSC-based HVDC PLUS technology used for the Pugalur-Thrissur link provides additional control features, black start capability, and other functions that improve transmission quality and security. Major HVDC equipment such as interface transformers and IGBT-based power converters, and other high & medium voltage AC equipment such as gas insulated switchgear, air insulated switchgear, control & relay panels etc. have been supplied from Siemens Limited’s factories in India. This link, targeting 175 gigawatts of renewable energy-based installed capacity by 2022, will help meet future energy demand and enable the resourceful use of renewable energy.
Siemens Energy Transmission Solutions was responsible for the design, engineering, supply, installation, and commissioning of the two HVDC stations, including converter valves, transformers, cooling systems, and control and protection technology, plus a complete transition station. Sumitomo Electric supplied the 108-kilometer (km) XLPE HVDC cable system that comprises four cables a route of 27 km each and links the converter stations.