Power demands in India's Maharashtra State are concentrated in the western part of the state around the Mumbai, Pune and Nasik regions. Thermal power generation is concentrated in the eastern part of the state due to the abundance of coal in that area, creating the need for bulk power transmission.
The Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB) built a 1,500 MW HVDC link between the cities of Chandrapur and Padghe (near Mumbai) - the first HVDC transmission link to Mumbai. The converter terminals were constructed by ABB (Sweden and India) and Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) of India.
The 500 kV Chandrapur - Padghe HVDC Bipole feeds Mumbai on the west coast with 1,500 MW from a thermal power generation plant located near Chandrapur in the eastern part of Maharashtra State 752 km away. The link helps to stabilize the Maharashtra grid, increasing power flow on the existing 400 kV AC lines while minimizing total line losses.
About 2,700 MW of power can be evacuated from the 400 kV Chandrapur bus. The AC transmission network comprising three 400 kV circuits between Chandrapur and Mumbai can safely transmit about 1,200 MW. It was therefore necessary to provide additional transmission capacity of around 1,500 MW. The Chandrapur - Padghe HVDC transmission was commissioned in 1999.
The HVDC system is designed to operate with an energy availability of 99 percent and a high margin of reliability, achieved with high quality components and a strategy of redundancy throughout the system.