Power Grid Corp. of India Ltd (PGCIL) is preparing to place its first order for the transmission network project which will move power from hydroelectric plants in the northeast of the country and Bhutan to other, more industrialised parts of the country where the demand for electricity is greater.

Power Grid is a state-owned transmission utility that transmits 45% of the power generated in India around the country through its 61,875km network of power lines. The company is preparing to float the first phase of the new project. The whole project will have the capacity to transmit 46,000MW of power over high-voltage direct current power lines; the highest capacity transmission project in India.

The project will move power from the National Hydroelectric Power Corp’s project at Subansiri on the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border to those areas of the country which have a power deficit.

There is great potential to further develop hydroelectric power in the northeast of the country and Bhutan but demand for power in these areas is relatively low due to the slower development of industrial activity. It is hoped that the transmission project will encourage developers to go ahead with hydro projects that have been agreed, but not yet begun.

Developers in the area have been wary of beginning to build new hydro plants due to their concerns that the facilities do not exist that would have the capacity to transmit the power from the new plants to areas of the country where there is a demand for electricity. Power Grid’s plans for the new network will give the developers the security of a market for the power they produce.