Basin Electric Power Cooperative (Bismarck, North Dakota, U.S.) has placed an order for the turnkey D-VAR (STATCOM) reactive compensation solution from American Superconductor Corp. (Devens, Massachusetts, U.S.).

AMSC will deploy the turnkey D-VAR solution near Wright, Wyoming, U.S. Basin Electric will use the D-VAR system to provide steady-state and transient voltage support to maintain transmission system stability and reliability in the region. It will have a continuous rating of 34 MVAR and a short-term rating of 91 MVAR, making it one of the largest STATCOMs ever deployed in the North American transmission grid. The system is expected to be operational in Basin Electric's power grid by the end of 2009.

D-VAR reactive compensation systems are classified as static compensators (STATCOMs), a member of the Flexible AC-Transmission System (FACTS) family of power electronic solutions. They are able to detect and instantaneously compensate for voltage disturbances by dynamically injecting leading or lagging reactive power into the power grid.

AMSC's D-VAR system was designed to address the many voltage and VAR-related problems seen on the grid. Electric utilities adopt these systems to avoid voltage collapse on T&D lines, increase power transfer through stability-limited systems, reduce the use of (or retire) reliability-must-run generators and mitigate industrial voltage transients.

Wind farm developers adopt D-VAR solutions to meet the stringent power grid requirements being adopted in an increasing number of locations around the world for dynamic voltage regulation, power factor correction and post-contingency assistance at wind farms.