Blackouts in Europe, as well as the United States, have focused attention on the importance of a secure and reliable supply of power to homes, public institutions, and industry. It is now recognized that a signifi cant number of grids are plagued by underinvestment, exacerbated by the uncertainty of roles and rules within the electricity supply industry brought about by deregulation. For instance, the unbundling of power generation and transmission in recent years has meant that grid companies can no longer rely on generators for reactive power, ie, transmission suppliers may have to provide their own var (volt-ampere reactive). The fast and adequate supply of reactive power is required to maintain stable voltages, especially when high percentages of induction motor loads, such as those created by air conditioners in urban areas, are dominant in the grid and during system faults. SVCs (static var compensators) are a solution well adapted to meet the challenges in question.
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