PROJECT | Staff Reporter, India

Underground hydropower plant in Eastern Himalayas, India gets a boost

Guess who will connect the 96MW plant.

According to a release, the Dikchu power plant will be built completely underground in Sikkim, a small Indian state in the Eastern Himalayas. The 96 megawatt (MW) run-of-river Dikchu hydroelectric power plant is located on the Dikchu River, a tributary of the Teesta River which flows across the length of Sikkim.

ABB will connect the power plant to the main national grid by designing and engineering the complete electrical system. The scope also includes supply of a variety of electrical products for the Dikchu power plant, such as 132 KV GIS, MV & LV switchgear, transformers, cabling, firefighting, protection, HVAC, Earthing, Busduct, DC system, illumination and alarm systems. This is the first large-scale hydro project for the customer, Sneha Kinetic Power Projects Pvt. Ltd. (SKPPPL), a special purpose vehicle formed by Greenko Energies Pvt. Ltd.

“ABB has the multidisciplinary engineering skills needed to provide turnkey, integrated EBoP projects that are specifically custom-built for power plants of all types,” said Massimo Danieli, responsible for ABB’s Power Generation business. “Our quality EBoP integrations with plant instrument, control and electrical systems ensure safe, efficient and reliable power systems.”

The scope for hydropower development in India is enormous. About 150 gigawatts (GW) of theoretical potential exists in the country today, with an estimated 84 GW of economically exploitable capacity, according to figures from the Central Electricity Authority (CEA).

This renewable source of clean energy is today used to supplement base electrical loads provided by thermal power plants, and also to provide pumped storage capacity for wind energy.

ABB's domain expertise, engineering know-how and track record of executing turnkey EBoP projects in power plants across the world backed up with lifecycle support services are key differentiators. 

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