ABB will support Maharashtra State Electricity Transmission Company Limited (MSETCL), the largest state power transmission utility in India, with ABB Ability™ enabled technology for their digital substation, which will be a key component of next generation grids in the country. The substation will be instrumental in transmitting clean energy from nearby solar plants to the rest of the state.
ABB has received the order from the Engineering and Procurement Company (EPC) Stelmec Ltd. for this digital substation which will be operated by Maharashtra State Electricity Transmission Company Limited (MSETCL), a large state power transmission utility. ABB will supply protection and control equipment, a MicroSCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system and process bus, which enables interoperable communication between vendors through Ethernet cables instead of copper wires.
The substation is currently the largest planned digital substation project in India, based on the number of bays and voltage level, and a natural next step for MSETCL to improve the reliability, efficiency and safety of the power grid, supporting India’s Smart Grid Mission and Smart City vision. It will also enable the utility to remotely monitor and manage the substation. As India adds more and more renewables into the power grid, managing these intermittent power sources is a challenge for many utilities. Digital substations will be one of the strategic core elements for flexible power grids, needed for a safe and stable integration of intermittent renewable energy sources.
A digital substation is more compact, reliable, safe, and, over the substation life cycle, it proves to be more cost effective and simpler to maintain and extend than a conventional one. Fiber optic cables replace traditional copper connections, enable digital communication, reduce installation time and cost, and lower environmental impact. The digital substation collects real-time data on primary equipment and converts this into actionable intelligence to help the utility monitor, control and maintain assets, as well derive cost efficiencies. This critical asset data can then be sent to ABB Ability Ellipse APM (Asset Performance Management) software that will enable predictive and preventive maintenance as well.
Maharashtra is ranked among the most industrialized states in the country and has been recognized as an early adopter of technology. It is also home to Mumbai, the financial capital and the famous Indian film industry. Over the years, MSETCL has been growing substantially to meet the growing electricity demand in the state. The utility has 46,200 circuit kilometers of transmission lines and a system that is capable of handling 21,000 MW, which is equivalent to the power drawn by over 10 million households at any given time.
ABB has recently also commissioned a 110 kilovolt (kV) digital substation to Technopark, the largest Information Technology (IT) park in India, based on built-up area, located in the southern state of Kerala and spanning an area of 930,000 square meters.