ABB wins $50 million order to make Quebec’s grid more energy efficient

ABB technology enhances the reliability of the existing grid and reduces electrical losses

Zurich, Switzerland, Oct. 25, 2011 – ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has won an order worth over $50 million from Hydro-Québec to upgrade vital components of Canada’s leading power utility’s ultra-high voltage transmission system that helps transport clean hydroelectric power from North to South Quebec. The order was booked in the third quarter.

The two SVCs (Static Var Compensators) in the Nemiscau substation, about 1,000 kilometers north of Montreal, provide fast-acting reactive power compensation in the 735 kilovolt electricity network. The upgrades are scheduled to be completed by 2014.

“In addition to enhancing the reliability of the existing grid, these upgrades will also enable significant life extension of the SVCs and reduce electrical losses substantially,” said Peter Leupp, head of ABB’s Power Systems division. “ABB has a long and proven track record of delivering energy efficient SVC solutions in Canada and around the world.”

SVCs 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. They are part of ABB’s family of flexible alternating current transmission systems (FACTS) technologies, which help enhance the capacity, security and flexibility of power transmission systems, and also contribute to the development of smarter grids.

By boosting power capacity in existing grids, FACTS technologies enable more power to reach consumers with minimal environmental impact, lower investment costs and shorter implementation times than the traditional alternative of building new power plants and transmission lines. 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 more than 800 such installations in operation or under construction across the world.

Hydro-Québec generates, transmits and distributes electricity, mainly using renewable energy sources, in particular hydroelectricity. It is one of the biggest electric utilities in North America.

ABB (www.abb.com) is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 130,000 people.

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    An earlier SVC substation in Canada installed by ABB

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