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ABB Wins Orders Worth $55 Million in Canada to Strengthen Power Grid


7/5/2012 6:00 PM

FACTS solutions to increase transmission capacity of hydro power as population in Southern British Columbia is set to double over the next 20 years

ABB, the 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 will enhance transmission capacity and provide more clean hydropower to consumers in the region,” said Brice Koch, head of ABB’s Power Systems division. “ABB’s advanced series capacitor technology will also help improve grid reliability and power quality.”

BC Hydro forecasts that the province's electricity needs will grow by approximately 50 per cent 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 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 will enable more power flow without having to construct an additional transmission line.

Canada is one of the largest producers of hydropower 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 help enhance the capacity, reliability and flexibility of power transmission systems and facilitate the development of smarter grids. FACTS technologies 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.

Source: ABB Group Media Relations