BC Hydro aims to strengthen power grid

Zurich, Switzerland -- - ABB, a power and automation technology group, has won orders worth around $55 million from the leading Canadian utility BC Hydro to deliver FACTS flexible alternating current transmission systems solutions that will help increase transmission capacity through new and existing power lines.

ABB will design, supply, install and commission three series capacitors: two at Seymour Arm and one at Ruby Creek. The installation at Seymour Arm will be in service by the end of 2013 and Ruby Creek the following year.

"These installations [are aimed to] enhance transmission capacity and provide more clean hydro power to consumers in the region,” said Brice Koch, head of ABB's Power Systems division.

"[The company's] series capacitor technology [is also aimed to] help improve grid reliability and power quality."

BC Hydro forecasts that the province's electricity needs will grow by approximately 50 percent over the next 20 years. This increase in demand is being driven by a projected population increase of more than one million residents and economic expansion.

The Ruby Creek installation is part of the Interior to Lower Mainland Transmission Project, a new 500 kilovolt kV line being constructed to help ensure that homes and businesses in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island continue to receive clean and reliable energy. The Seymour Arm series capacitor is aimed to enable more power flow without having to construct an additional transmission line.

Canada is one of the largest producers of hydro power in the world, and one of few countries to generate much of its electricity from hydro-based sources.

Series capacitors are part of ABB's family of FACTS technologies, which are designed to enhance the capacity, reliability and flexibility of power transmission systems and to facilitate the development of smarter grids.

FACTS technologies are designed to allow more power to reach consumers with minimal environmental impact, lower investment costs and shorter implementation times than the traditional alternative of building new power plants and transmission lines. They also address voltage and frequency stability issues and enable the transmission system to run more efficiently.


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