ABB has won an order worth $75 million (USD) from Hydro-Québec for static VAr compensators (SVCs) -- equipment that enables quick responses to electrical disturbances in the grid and contributes to restoring its stability.

The installation of two SVCs on the 735-kV network at the Chénier substation, west of Montreal, will be the world’s largest by capacity (with a total 1,200 MVA reactive). The turnkey project for Hydro-Québec, the largest electric utilities in Canada, is due to be completed in 2012.

The SVC installation on the power grid contributes both to regulating the voltage of the Montreal metropolitan transmission ring and towards ensuring the stability of the network after disturbances have occurred. SVCs are a part of the FACTS (flexible alternating-current transmission systems) family of technologies that boost the security, capacity and reliability of existing power transmission systems.

“We are delighted to work with Hydro-Québec and contribute to the stability of this important transmission system,” said Peter Leupp, head of ABB’s Power Systems division. “This success further strengthens ABB’s position as the leading supplier of FACTS technologies.”

By using the existing network, FACTS solutions, where they can be applied, reduce the need for capital investment, save time and reduce the complexity associated with construction of new power plants or transmission lines. They also enable more power to reach consumers with minimum impact on the environment. ABB is a global leader in FACTS and has more than 700 installations in operation or under construction around the world.