ABB has won an order from Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE) to provide a Static VAr Compensator (SVC) solution to help strengthen the transmission grid in southern Mexico. The unit will be installed at the La Ventosa substation, close to the city of Ixtepec in the state of Oaxaca.

The technology will enable better voltage control and improve grid reliability in the area’s 400-kV transmission network. It will also help stabilize oscillations in active power caused mainly by an adjacent wind park with a capacity of 1,900 MW. It is the third such contract received by ABB from CFE this year, following SVC orders for substations at El Palmar and Escárcega.

SVC devices provide fast-acting reactive power compensation in high-voltage electricity networks.This enhances stability by countering fluctuations in the voltage and current of an electric grid, thereby allowing more power to flow through and at the same time maintaining safety margins and increasing network stability. This technology is part of ABB’s family of Flexible AC Transmission Systems (FACTS) solutions that increase the capacity and reliability of existing transmission networks, and contribute to the development of smart grids.

“This is a good example of how ABB technologies are helping to integrate renewables and address environmental concerns,” said Per Haugland, Head of the Grid Systems business, within ABB’s Power Systems division. “FACTS solutions have the ability to boost supply of electricity, leveraging the existing infrastructure and at the same time improve power reliability and help grids get smarter.”

CFE is Mexico’s largest power utility with a generation capacity of around 50,000 MW and a network comprising 49,000 km of transmission and distribution lines. It supplies electricity to over 80 million people.