India leverages GE Power Conversion technology to power its first pumped-storage plant

By Editor


Greentech Lead India: GE Power Conversion business announced it is supporting the Tehri Hydro Development Corporation (THDC) India’s 1,000-megawatt (MW) pumped-storage hydro power plant located on the Bhagirathi River in the state of Uttarakhand.

This is the first pumped-storage power plant in India to use variable-speed pump turbine sets, which will provide higher power output than previous systems and provide much needed grid stability for India’s increasing electricity demands. The facility will provide much needed power for Northern India.
Alstom, the project development company, selected GE Power Conversion to provide its Voltage Source Drive technology. GE’s Power Conversion drive systems will be used for all of the plant’s variable-speed motor/generator sets of the pump turbines to enable continuous control of the plant’s pump output.

The facility, which will produce much needed power for northern India when it enters service in 2016, supports India’s “Power for All” initiative to bolster the country’s energy security.

Demand for pumped-storage power plants is increasing in India and worldwide. Pumped storage is a more efficient and flexible form of storing electricity on a large scale, enabling utilities to respond quickly to demand and replacing the fossil fuels traditionally used during peak demand periods with renewable, CO2-free energy.

Most pumped-storage power plants worldwide are fixed-speed systems. The only way to control pump output in these plants is to activate and/or deactivate individual machine sets. The use of variable-speed drives leads to higher efficiency, especially in partial-load operation, because the operating point can be perfectly adapted to grid conditions.

With a pumped-storage hydropower plant, water is pumped into the reservoir during the off-peak hours, enabling the plant to effectively store energy and use it during times of increased demand. Pumped-storage power plants function like giant batteries, which are charged when electricity can be generated from sources such as wind power. When the wind subsides, the pumped-storage power plant continues to supply energy.
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