ABB (NYSE: ABB), the leading power the and automation technology group, has won an order worth around $30 million from Saudi Electricity Company (SEC), the country’s leading power utility, to refurbish FACTS systems in the Eastern Operating Area. The order was booked in the fourth quarter of 2013.
ABB will refurbish two 380 kilovolt Static Var Compensators (SVC) located at the existing Shedgum and Faras Substation, about 300 kilometers East of Riyadh. The SVC’s will operate in parallel with other SVC’s and generators in close proximity. They will provide reactive power support to limit temporary over voltages and mitigate voltage instabilities at low load conditions. The project is scheduled to be completed by 2016.
“This refurbishment project will help improve voltage stability, reduce outages and mitigate the risk of blackouts” said Oleg Aleinikov, head of ABB’s Substations business, a part of the company’s Power Systems division. “Strengthening the transmission grid will benefit consumers in the region by improving the reliability and quality of their power supply.”
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SVCs are part of ABB’s family of FACTS (flexible alternating current transmission systems) technologies, which help enhance the capacity and flexibility of power transmission systems and contribute to the evolution of smarter grids. They compensate for fluctuations in the voltage and current of an electric grid, thereby allowing more power to flow through the network while maintaining network safety and stability.
FACTS solutions allow more power to reach consumers through the existing transmission network. This results in lower investment costs and shorter implementation times than the traditional alternative of building new power plants and transmission lines, with the added benefit of minimizing environmental impact. They also help address voltage and frequency stability issues and enable the transmission system to run more efficiently. ABB is a global leader in the growing field of FACTS, and has delivered more than 800 such installations across the world.