Worldwide revenue from flexible alternating current transmission systems (FACTS) will surpass $5 billion annually in 2022, according to a new report from Navigant Research.
The majority of electricity transmission systems in service today are high-voltage alternating current (HVAC) systems that rely on many of the same technologies that existed at their conception more than 100 years ago.
Today, however, the rapid worldwide expansion in large-scale wind and solar projects, coupled with the growth of heavy industry in Latin America, South Africa, and other regions, is providing new opportunities for FACTS.
“Flexible AC transmission systems can be used creatively to help solve some of the most demanding transmission challenges on the power grid,” says James McCray, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “These new distributed solutions are showing tremendous potential for helping to correct problems like localized voltage sag, power factor fluctuations, and flicker.”
FACTS include an array of complex engineered solutions, such as series compensation (SC) solutions, static volt-ampere reactive compensators (SVCs), and static synchronous compensators (STATCOMs), which can improve the reliability and stability of the high-voltage transmission grid, according to the report.
Additionally, the proliferation of distributed renewable energy resources on the grid, along with the smart grid focus on pushing distribution automation and control technologies to the edge of the grid, is driving new markets for scaled-down FACTS that can be delivered as modular, containerized solutions.