GE T&D India to augment solar power evacuation in Rajasthan

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GE T&D India Limited has won a contract from the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) to construct 765kV gas-insulated substation (GIS) bays at Phagi in the Jaipur district of Rajasthan. This is GE’s first 765 kV GIS order from PGCIL.

The scope of the project includes the end-to-end commissioning of the GIS bays, including substation automation and relay panels. The bays will be an extension to the Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Prasaran Nigam Limited’s existing 765 kV substation at Phagi, which was also commissioned by GE earlier using air insulated switchgear (AIS) technology.

The Phagi substation is a part of the transmission scheme that involves implementation of Ajmer-Phagi 765 kV line, along with associated bays, to facilitate the evacuation of renewable energy generated in solar parks at Bhadla, Fatehpur and Bikaner to various beneficiaries.

Once the 765 kV GIS bays are installed at Phagi, the state will be able to evacuate around 1 GW of additional renewable energy from these solar plants. This will result in the effective utilization of more green energy by the state and lower reliance on coal as the source of power generation.

Speaking about the project, GE Grid Solutions South Asia president and CEO Pitamber Shivnani said, “As the contribution of renewable energy increases in the overall energy mix of the country, this gas-insulated substation extension will further strengthen the grid evacuation infrastructure and improve electricity access for important demand centers in the state.”

GIS vs AIS

Rajasthan is a leader in renewable energy among Indian states and is aiming for 37.5 GW of renewable energy generation by 2025. Of this amount, grid-connected solar projects are expected to account for 24 GW; wind for about 4 GW and hybrid sources for the remaining generation. The efficient evacuation of this renewable energy requires the latest grid technology and infrastructure designed to easily integrate with the rapidly transforming national grid.

GE claims its GIS technology to be one of the most advanced substation technologies in the world and it requires up to 70% less land for installation compared with AIS. The technology will offer several benefits for Rajasthan’s grid, including smarter networks, condition-based maintenance and greater load control to prevent outages. The equipment required to construct the substations, including the GIS, will be locally manufactured and supplied from GE Grid Solutions’ state-of-the-art factories located at Padappai and Pallavaram in Chennai.