Power distribution: High voltage transmission system helps transport clean hydroelectric power

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Transmission and distribution: ABB has won an order worth around $60 million from Hydro-Québec, Canada’s leading power utility to replace vital components of its ultra-high voltage transmission system that helps transport clean hydroelectric power from North to South Quebec. The order was booked in the fourth quarter of 2013.

As part of the order, ABB will upgrade two Static Var Compensators (SVC) located at the Albanel substation, about 500 kilometers north of Montreal, that provide fast-acting reactive power compensation for the 735 kilovolt electricity network. The upgrades are scheduled to be completed by 2016.

“This upgrade will significantly extend the life of the SVCs and substantially reduce electrical losses” said Claudio Facchin, head of ABB’s Power Systems division. “ABB is a global leader when it comes to FACTS solutions with an extensive global installed base and we are delighted to work with Hydro Quebec on this project.”

SVCs are part of ABB¹s 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.

Hydro-Québec generates, transmits and distributes electricity. Its sole shareholder is the Québec government. It uses mainly renewable generating options, in particular hydropower, and supports the development of other technologies -- such as wind energy and biomass -- through purchases from independent power producers. It also conducts R&D in energy-related fields, including energy efficiency.

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April 2015
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