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Data centres to power growth, says Hitachi Energy

New HVDC valves factory near Chennai to meet fast growing domestic and global demand for clean energy solutions

Data centres to power growth, says Hitachi Energy
Hitachi Energy India inaugurated its new high-voltage direct current

CHENNAI: Hitachi Energy India inaugurated its new high-voltage direct current (HVDC) and power quality factory at Mahindra World City, near Chennai, on Thursday. The tech major continues to bet on India as a strategic market, while seeing the potential for data centres as a growth area as it focuses on solutions for integration of renewables and electrical grid stability.

Claudio Facchin, CEO, Hitachi Energy gave an overview of the business to the media, highlighting the ambitious thrust for renewables to cater to the “power super highways.” Incidentally, as part of its efforts to support the energy transition globally, there are key focus areas for the company – innovation technology to decarbonise assets as part of the sustainability drive, power electronics and digitalisation, in view of the evolution of technologies to manage complex energy systems.

Hitachi Energy caters to one in every three data centres being installed in the country and its total addressable market size is 15-20 per cent of data centre capex.

“We have identified data centres to be high growth segments,” he said, noting that this would help the company to move beyond serving traditional customers such as power utilities.

Continuing to invest Rs 100 crore annually in the country, N Venu, MD-CEO, India and South Asia, said even during the pandemic, the company did not pause its investments. “This is our second factory being inaugurated in six months,” he pointed out.

The company sitting on an order book of Rs 7,200 crore which includes HVDC, expects the surge in demand for high voltage transmission projects in India to drive its business. “Renewable energy projects require shorter gestation period compared to say thermal power,” Venu said, adding its strategy is to meet the demand for high voltage transmission projects on the back of India targeting to achieve 500 GW by 2030 through renewable projects.

Also, compared to the past scenario of having only one project in a span of five to six years, it had come to one per year. This perhaps explains the execution of more than half of HVDC links in India, including the North-East Agra link (transmission of clean power supply) and the 6,000 MW Raigarh-Pugalur link (transmitting power from Central India to consumers in the south over a distance of 1,830 km).

Facchin sought to point out that the Chennai facility was similar to the one in Sweden in terms of design and technology. The 2,000-plus engineers working out of the engineering centre in the city deploy technology globally, thereby providing a platform for leveraging capabilities while keeping pace with the strong demand momentum.

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