Nestled at the foothills of the Himalayas, Nepal is home to eight of the world's ten tallest mountains, including Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth, making tourism a mainstay of the economy.
The country has a population about 29 million people and electricity to power households and commercial users is crucial. Currently, Nepal's electricity generation is dominated by hydropower, sourced predominantly through river projects. This leads to a shortage of power during winter and excess electricity generated during the rainy season.
Nepal’s peak power demand is around 1250 megawatts (MW), and the country has an installed capacity of only 970 MW. To bridge the gap and improve power availability, the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has implemented a series of measures including import of power from India through recently constructed cross-border high-voltage power lines.
One such line is the Dhalkebar-Muzzaffarpur cross-border link which brings in electricity from India in the dry season and exports power from Nepal in the monsoons. To facilitate the exchange of more power between the two countries, ABB has been awarded to construct a 400 kilovolt (kV) gas insulated switchgear (GIS) substation at Dhalkebar, in Nepal. The substation will be equipped with a state-of-the-art control, protection and automation system, based on IEC 61850 open standards to facilitate communication between numerous devices within the substation and beyond.
Lack of access to reliable power is consistently identified among the biggest obstacles to economic and social growth. For Nepal to move up on the development index, availability of reliable power is high on the country’s agenda. Cross border links such as the Dhalkebar- Muzzaffarpur link facilitate the exchange of electricity between Nepal and India as the country builds its infrastructure to harvest its vast hydropower potential.
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