GE Renewable Energy to Commission Kundah and Tehri Pumped Hydro Storage Power Plants by 2023

GE Renewable Energy’s Hydro Solutions has completed significant project milestones at the Tehri Pumped Hydro Storage (Variable Speed) and Kundah Pumped Hydro Storage (Fixed Speed) projects. Both hydropower projects will use GE’s Hydro turbines and Pumped Storage technology for power generation to ensure reliable power to the grid.

July 17, 2021. By Manu Tayal

GE Renewable Energy’s Hydro Solutions has completed significant project milestones at the Tehri Pumped Hydro Storage (Variable Speed) and Kundah Pumped Hydro Storage (Fixed Speed) projects.  

At Tehri 95 per cent of the deliveries have been completed and the Civil and electro-mechanical erection works are underway in full swing. While at Kundah, the first key milestone of hydraulic model testing has been completed.

Both hydropower projects will use GE’s Hydro turbines and Pumped Storage technology for power generation to ensure reliable power to the grid.

Moreover, these projects are expected to contribute 1000 MW and 500 MW electricity to India’s national grid by end of 2023, from the Tehri and Kundah sites respectively.

Commenting on the development, Brian Selby, General Manager for Hydro Asia, said “the noteworthy fact about these two projects is that we have effectively promoted the upgrading of local hydropower manufacturing, supply chain & project management skills and mobilized resources from India to supply a major part of all equipment used at Tehri and to be used at Kundah from our local partners. We are proud of our Indian partners who are making GE technology work for India.”

“Both the projects use the Pumped Hydro Storage technology that will ensure reliable power to the national grid during all seasons,” Selby added.

Significantly, GE has mobilized resources in India and across the world to execute on both the projects. 

At Tehri, several major components such as MIVs (Main Inlet Valve), PIVs (Penstock Inlet Valve), Runners, Distributors, Rotor Spiders, Stators, bearings, OPUs (Oil Pressure Unit), Mechanical & Electrical BOP (Balance of Plants) etc have been engineered and manufactured in India. 

However, the project’s construction and commissioning teams have been supported by GE’s global centers of excellence.

Notably, the third Main Inlet Valve (MIV) of the 4 has been manufactured in India with GE’s technology and design and is one of the largest ever MIVs in the world weighing 350 tons without counterweights and 4-meters in diameter.

Earlier in 2020, the 4x125 MW Kundah Fixed Speed Pumped Hydro Storage project was awarded to GE by Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Ltd (MEIL). It has undergone a successful hydraulic model test in February 2021, an important milestone in the project. 

Speaking about the project development, the Chief Engineer of Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited (TANGEDCO), Bertrand Russell said, “this will enable to speed-up further design activities of electro-mechanical scope and accelerate the overall project schedule.”

The pumped hydro storage technology will enable the surplus energy that is available on the grid to be used and to generate power during the morning and evening peak demands and will help TANGEDCO to generate more profitability.

The 4x250MW Tehri PSP is a mammoth project with variable speed technology. This consortium project was awarded by Tehri Hydro Development Corporation India Ltd to GE Hydro France, GE Power India Ltd and Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) under the over project leadership of GE Hydro France. 

The power plant has been designed for high flexibility and short response times to load changes. Unlike conventional fixed speed units, the variable speed operation allows for very quick starts and stops as well as fast transitions between turbine and pump operation.

Among the most adaptable production systems, variable speed hydro storage units can store large quantity of immediately available electricity, giving the network greater flexibility, predictability and efficiency.

For a unit, variable speed can increase weighted efficiency in turbine mode by an average of 1 per cent and pumping power adjustment range by 30 per cent.

The Engineer In charge of Tehri Hydro Development Corporation India Ltd, SS Panwar said, “The project is at the peak of its execution where it is really important that the consortium works together with all stakeholders to complete the project and illuminate more than 250,000 homes. We are thankful to the consortium for its professionalism, commitment and enthusiasm throughout the execution despite the Covid-19 challenges.”

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