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Xcel Energy tapped ABB to deliver two static Var compensators to support its transmission grid expansion in New Mexico.
The SVCs, to be located at Xcel Energy’s Roadrunner and China Draw substations, will provide the necessary dynamic voltage support for new loads that have been added to the 115 kilovolt (kV) network in southeast New Mexico. ABB’s turnkey solution includes design, engineering, installation and commissioning of the two SVCs, each rated 115 kV. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2016.
Economic growth in southeast New Mexico, in particular developments in mining, oil and natural gas extraction coupled with residential housing, have prompted Xcel Energy to pursue an transmission infrastructure expansion plan, with the company investing significantly in new high-voltage transmission and distribution lines and substations.
The investment is part of Xcel Energy’s Power for the Plains, a $1.6 billion transmission expansion plan in Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma to help improve electric reliability, strengthen the existing transmission grid and integrate additional wind power.
SVC’s are part of ABB’s family of Flexible Alternating Current Transmission Systems (FACTS) technologies, which help enhance the capacity and flexibility of power transmission systems and contribute to the evolution of smarter grids.
FACTS solutions allow more power to reach consumers through the existing transmission network. This results in lower investment costs and shorter implementation times than the traditional alternative of building new power plants and transmission lines, with the additional benefit of minimizing environmental impact.