SVC Light improving the grid of Austin, Texas

ABB wins contract to replace mid-town power station with environmental friendly SVC Light technology

Zurich, Switzerland, March 4, 2003 - ABB, the leading power and automatation technology group, has won a US$ 14 million order from Austin Energy, Austin, Texas, to design, manufacture and install a Static Compensator (STATCOM) at Pedernales Substation by October, 2004.

ABB will provide the STATCOM, based on the company’s patented SVC Light® technology, enabling Austin Energy to shut down a mid-town gas fired power station. The STATCOM will dynamically control the grid voltage and enhance stability in the power transmission and distribution systems.

Under the terms of the contract, ABB will install a STATCOM that takes full advantage of the company’s unique power semiconductor innovations that have made it possible to perform unequalled high-speed control in transmission systems. This development has resulted in such groundbreaking products as HVDC Light® and SVC Light®. In Austin, the Light® technology was also chosen because it requires a very limited footprint and can be installed in small locations.

The contract demonstrates ABB’s continued success in what the electric utility industry calls the FACTS business. FACTS stands for Flexible AC Transmission Systems and covers a number of technologies that enhance the security, capacity and flexibility of power transmission systems.

"The use of FACTS can save a large electricity provider from investing in more expensive and time-consuming improvements to the transmission infrastructure", says Josef Duerr, head of ABB’s Power Systems business area.

ABB ( is a global leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering their environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in more than 100 countries and employs about 139,000 people.

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