India: ABB secures $18 million in solar-related orders

ABB has won orders worth some $18 million to provide plant electrification, automation and substations to integrate 850 MW of solar energy in the country.

Part of India’s strong push for solar energy and renewables, the solar power plants are under construction in the the southern Indian states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. The projects, expected to be among the biggest worldwide, will connect more than 850 MW of solar energy to the grid.

According to ABB, Indian multinational Adani Group’s 648 MW solar plant in Kamuthi, Tamil Nadu, is the most significant of the projects. ABB will provide a turnkey solution that comprises design, supply, installation and commissioning of the power plant electrification and automation systems, the pooling stations and multiple substations. This includes two 230 kV and three 110 kV substations to connect the electricity generated to the local grid.

The plant will employ ABB’s Symphony Plus control technology as its unified automation platform, which will include electrical systems, solar inverters and software for plant performance monitoring.

Adani is also reportedly planning to invest $1.05 billion in a 1 GW solar plant in the eastern state of Jharkhand.

“ABB has supported India’s power infrastructure development through the decades and we are pleased to facilitate the country’s push for solar energy, where we have already made a significant contribution,” said Claudio Facchin, president of ABB’s Power Systems division. “This project exemplifies our power and automation system integration capabilities and reinforces our commitment to renewable energy, a key component ABB’s Next Level strategy.”

The company pointed out that India was “endowed with a vast solar energy potential and with approximately 300 clear, sunny days in a year, the theoretical solar power reception, on its land area alone, is about 5,000 trillion kilowatt-hours per year. Even assuming a PV module efficiency of as low as 10%, this would still be a thousand times greater than the domestic electricity demand projected for 2015.”

With an installed grid connected solar power capacity of around 4.1 GW — almost all of which has been added in the last four years — solar power still constitutes only 1.45% of its total installed power generation capacity of some 276 GW. India expects to install an additional 10 GW by 2017. Earlier this year the government announced an ambitious goal to install 100 GW of solar power by 2022, translating into an investment target of approximately $100 billion.

ABB has delivered several turnkey solar projects in India and earlier this year became the first company in the country to deliver solar inverters with a cumulative capacity of 2 GW.