In a country where millions of people still live without electricity, new high voltage direct current transmission lines are carrying electricity over long distances with minimal losses, and helping to stabilize the grid.
India’s power demand has increased enormously and will continue to rise. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), India, China, and the Middle East will account for 60 percent of worldwide growth in energy demand by 2035. But more than 600 million Indians still live without regular access to electricity. Not only is too little energy produced, but as much as 60 percent of that energy is lost in transmission and distribution. And the grid is prone to failure. During the hot summer months, up to ten power outages a day are common.
Efficient HVDC Technology
Part of the solution could be located in Mohindergarh, a small town near New Delhi. A new high voltage direct current transmission (HVDCT) inverter station is located here. It converts the DC arriving from Mundra, 1,000 kilometers away, into AC and feeds it to the local power grid. The two regions located at either end of the HVDCT line couldn’t be more different. Mohindergarh is the least developed district in this part of northern India. Its residents, who are mostly farmers, live on the edge of poverty, whereas the residents of Mundra, a port city in the western state of Gujarat, are relatively wealthy. In the 1990s Mundra became a production and logistics hub for packaged salt. Today it is India’s biggest private port and has two high-output power plants. One of them, a coal-fired plant with an output of 4,620 megawatts, is the largest in the country.