T&D World Magazine

ABB Helps Keep Power Flowing in Southern Alberta

ABB has been awarded a contract in Langdon near Calgary by AltaLink, L.P., Alberta’s largest electrical transmission provider to initially replace certain components at risk of failure within AltaLink’s current Static Var Compensator (SVC), and during a second phase, to replace the existing unit with an entirely new ABB-designed and manufactured SVC system.

Static Var Compensators are sophisticated systems that provide the continuous reactive power required to control dynamic voltage swings which can occur under various conditions. In so doing, they serve to improve power system transmission performance. ABB completed Phase 1 of the service and supply contract for AltaLink this past December and has committed to putting the new SVC into service by November 2009.

“We recognized that our existing Static Var Compensator had reached the end of its life and that certain critical components were particularly at risk,” explains George Bowden AltaLink’s vice president of Operations “A failure of this vital link in southern Alberta’s transmission network could have led to a major blackout, inconveniencing thousands of Albertans and creating potentially significant financial consequences for the province’s ratepayers. We needed an immediate solution and looked to ABB to help us deliver.”

“We have a very positive, longstanding relationship with AltaLink, as well as a full understanding of the issues associated with the impending end of life of SVC systems,” underlines Greg Farthing, ABB Canada’s vice president of sales and marketing for Power Products and Power Systems. “Thanks to this extensive knowledge and expertise, we are pleased to have been able to mobilize the necessary source supply and our engineering facilities in Sweden and Montreal. Ultimately, we came up with an innovative two-step approach in accordance with a schedule that, frankly, many thought would not be feasible.”

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