GE Power’s Grid Solutions business announced the completion of a first-of-its-kind project for a 400/200 kV Gas Insulated Substation (GIS) at Magam village in the Baramulla block of north Kashmir. Part of the Northern Region System Strengthening 29 (NRSS 29) project, this project was awarded to Sterlite Power by the Indian Government through tariff-based competitive bidding in May 2014. Sterlite Energy recently shared that the commissioning of the project was two months ahead of schedule despite challenging mountainous terrain. The project will provide over half a million Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) citizens access to reliable power sources year-round. The project was led by GE T&D India Limited, the listed entity of GE Power’s Grid Solutions business in India.
The Kashmir valley region in Northern India suffers from blackouts during the harsh winter months – leaving many families exposed to severe cold. The transmission lines spread over 400 km from Samba in Jammu to Amargarh in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district and passes through 11 major towns and districts of J&K.
GE has commissioned more than four hundred 400kV GIS bays across India, but this project was the first time the company delivered a solution under harsh weather and sub-zero temperatures in India. Situated at an altitude of 1,710 metres (5,610 ft) in the snow-covered hills of Amargarh, this project was implemented in record time amidst tough conditions.
“Specially designed vehicles were used to transport the heavy equipment from different locations across India and deliver them safely to the site, overcoming several considerable constraints like narrow tunnels and rough terrains,” said Shailesh Mishra, Business Unit Head, Turnkey Solutions South Asia for GE Grid solutions. “Transporting the material through Jawahar Tunnel was especially challenging. For transportation of transformers we had to dismantle the entire lighting rail and fixtures of Jawahar tunnel and re-do it within a limited time window.” Underdeveloped local markets, limited availability of power from the grid and extreme weather conditions all posed significant challenges for the teams.
“GE is committed to develop and improve India’s electrical infrastructure to ensure that the citizens have access to consistent and reliable power year-round, no matter what the weather conditions are. Our partnership with Sterlite Energy is just the next step in meeting the growing energy demand of the country,” said Sunil Wadhwa, Managing Director, GE T&D India Limited and Leader of GE’s Grid Solutions business in South Asia. “Every team member that was involved in this project should be incredibly proud of what we have achieved – delivering a critical solution, under severe conditions and in record time.”
Ved Mani Tiwari, CEO, Sterlite Power said, “Sterlite Power is committed to empowering humanity by addressing the toughest challenges of energy delivery. NRSS-29 project is testament of the same. This is one of the largest private sector transmission projects awarded in the country and is critical for meeting the power requirements of the state. This is especially true in Kashmir, which suffers massive load-shedding during winters when electricity demand rises sharply. The GE team has done a phenomenal job in achieving this feat, particularly given the tight project timeline and rough, mountainous terrain.”