ABB recently inked a deal with the Power Grid Corporation of India to to deliver an ultrahigh-voltage direct current (UHVDC) transmission system. This system would be used to evacuate power from the remote hydroelectric power station located in a remote part of northeast India. This bodes well for other companies engaging in the implementation of HVDC systems such as Siemens, Alstom etc. who can aid in significant expansion of the existing capacity which currently measures over 9000 MW.
This move could inspire other project developers in the country to opt for HVDC links. With India reeling under immense peak power deficit (12% last year) and the fact that T&D losses are significant (upwards of 20-30% in most states), conversion of the transmission network to incorporate HVDC would be immensely beneficial as a HVDC network experiences extremely low transmission losses. Furthermore, the sytem is one of the most efficient ways available presently to transmit power over large distances. This could really help a country as large as India by creating large super grids, which could be setup primarily for the interconnection of various renewable energy sources so as to smooth out the inherent issue of intermittency associated with renewable energy.
As discussed in the offshore wind energy article, HVDC links shine immensely when used for submarine transmission of electricity. With the offshore segment expected to pickup, developing competency in setting up HVDC links would be of immense value to project developers as it would help them setup power plants in regions that would otherwise lie dormant. The beneficiary of this technology would not just be the offshore wind energy segment. A prime example of this is the proposed installation of a 100 kW floating solar panel system in Karnataka over a waste water body. Many such (high potential) regions exist in India, just waiting to be exploited.
The system could also aid in international power sale in an optimistic scenario wherein there is surplus power generation capacity within the country. It will be interesting to see how the technology is going to be carried forward in the country (if at all).