Opening up the Green Corridor
Power Grid is integrating all renewable energy power plants. “If it is one mass, the grid will be more stable,” Jha says. This is being achieved by the National Green Corridor program, a project envisaged by Power Grid, which is intended to enable the flow of renewables into the National Grid Network.
The control and support for handling the variations will come from technologies like SVC and STATCOM. “We are installing 14 STATCOMs all over the country,” says Jha. With newer energy sources making India’s energy mix more complex, technologies like SVC and STATCOM will provide for continuity. But these initiatives need to be supported by good forecasting. Ergo, Power Grid is installing Renewable Energy Management Systems all across the country.
Towards a flexible and stable grid
Over the last five years, Power Grid has rolled out projects worth more than US$ 15.5 billion (Rs 1,000 billion). “These investments have added flexibility to the grid,” says Jha.
High-voltage direct current or HVDC systems are also being used for long-distance transmission of power. India has several state-of-the-art HVDC projects in place, such as the Talcher-Kolar, Ballia-Bhiwadi, Mundra-Haryana, NER-Agra, Champa-Kurukshetra and the upcoming Raigarh-Pugalur-Kerala project.
“Voltage-sourced converter (VSC) is the latest innovation in HVDC technology,” says Griem, “offering a very stable and highly-flexible reactive power control.” Speaking about the upcoming Raigarh-Pugalur-Kerala project, Jha says the Pugalur-Kerala HVDC line will be 200 kilometers long, and once completed, it will be India’s first DC link featuring VSC technology. For the project, Siemens will supply two converter stations with two parallel converters, each rated at 1,000 megawatts and featuring its VSC HVDC technology.
Like India’s Power Minister R. K. Singh, Jha is equally upbeat about the country’s energy transition plans. “Even today, our grid is of a very high quality,” says Jha. And the big positive for India, he feels, is its monitoring system. “The prime minister is personally monitoring each project.” With the right initiatives and monitoring of projects, the day is not far when his optimism becomes reality.