Image source: GE

GE completes one of power industry’s largest reactive power upgrades

Norway: GE’s Grid Solutions business has completed a three-month trial of its Static Var Compensator (SVC) upgrade at two substations belonging to Statnett.

The Flexible AC Transmission System (FACTS) upgrade improves the operational efficiency and stability of Statnett’s AC power system in order to accommodate more renewable energy. The upgrade marks the largest SVC revamp project Statnett has ever undertaken — and is also one of the largest in the industry.

During the three-month performance trial period, which ended in October 2021, not a single interruption occurred at the Rød and Verdal substations. Ongoing operation of the two SVCs continues, including the use of advanced features such as Power Oscillation Damping, due to the implementation of GE’s “SmoothSine” control software, which provides better consistency and efficiency of the software development, testing and implementation.

“With the successful completion of this project for Statnett, GE has once again proven the technical and project execution capabilities of our FACTS solutions using our innovative “SmoothSine” software approach,” said Fabrice Jullien, FACTS Global Business Leader at GE’s Grid Solutions.

Unlike traditional 6-pulse rectifier-based SVCs, Rød and Verdal SVCs use a 12-pulse rectifier configuration enabling configuration without passive filters, which means they take up less space. Additionally, due to the limited space within the substation, GE introduced a unique three-phase stacked thyristor valve configuration which contributed to a 66 % footprint reduction.

This technology allows utilities to provide reactive power support, enhancing controllability, improving stability, and increasing power transfer capacity of AC transmission systems. The system design involves upgrades to Statnett’s existing SVCs to regulate the voltage in the system during normal operations and provide reactive power compensation during faults in the system.


Source: GE