Fast-track FACTS project completed in time for Christmas peak load

2014-12-18 - Static Var Compensator solution from ABB is installed to boost transmission capacity and grid reliability in Colombia.

Bogotá, both the capital and main economic and industrial center of Colombia, is experiencing sustained and speedy growth in its population, industry, commerce and tourism. This has triggered considerable investments in the commercial, hotel and transport sectors of this city of over 7.5 million inhabitants, in turn placing increasing demands on new and existing power infrastructure.

The demand-supply gap is accentuated during the month of December, when electricity consumption rises due to the increased commercial activities and the city’s traditional Christmas illuminations.

To avoid any voltage stability issues and prevent outages, Empresa de Energia de Bogotá (EEB) sought a prompt solution and opted for a Static Var Compensator (SVC) to be installed at its Tunal substation in the south of the city.

Utilizing its comprehensive project management capabilities and experience with fast-track projects, ABB installed and commissioned the SVC at the beginning of December, three weeks ahead of schedule. SVCs are devices that can quickly and reliably control line voltages. They allow more power to reach consumers through the existing transmission network, while enhancing quality of power supply, a feature that has already been of benefit in Bogotá during the run-up to the festive season.

Installing pioneering technology

“The new SVC strengthens the grid and improves the reliability of power supplies in the capital city,” says Oleg Aleinikov, head of ABB’s Substations business, a part of the company’s Power Systems division. “This will help to mitigate the risk of outages during high demand hours and address growing demand for high-quality power.”

As part of the turnkey project, ABB was responsible for the design, supply, installation and commissioning of the SVC with a capacity of 240 MVAr (megavolt-ampere reactive) capacitive and 60 MVAr inductive, including high-voltage switchgear at the 230 kV (kilovolt) substation.

SVCs are part of ABB’s family of FACTS (Flexible Alternating Current Transmission Systems) technologies. The group pioneered FACTS and is a market and technology leader in this domain. Since its introduction in the 1950s, ABB has delivered more than 800 such installations around the world and introduced several technology breakthroughs in this field – providing enhanced grid stability all year round, not just for Christmas.

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