ABB has won an order worth more than US$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 two static var compensators (SVCs) in the Nemiscau substation, about 1,000 km (621 miles) north of Montreal, provide fast-acting reactive power compensation in the 735-kV network.

The upgrades are scheduled to be completed by 2014.

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.

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