T&D World Magazine

Allegheny Power Commissions World’s Largest SVC

The world’s largest Static Var Compensator (SVC) installation was recently completed by its manufacturer, ABB, and placed in service at Allegheny Power’s Black Oak Substation near Rawlings, Maryland. The installation will enhance the reliability on Allegheny Power’s 500 kV Black Oak-Beddington transmission line – one of the most congested lines in the PJM area – by quickly changing reactive power levels to control the line’s voltage. In addition, the SVC will enable increased transmission capacity on multiple 500 kV lines in the PJM region.

The project was initiated as part of PJM’s Regional Transmission Expansion Plan, which identifies upgrades and additions to ensure the reliability of the electric transmission system throughout its multi-state region. “The Black Oak SVC will benefit millions of customers by providing a new level of reliability to a critical transmission line serving the Mid-Atlantic region,” said David E. Flitman, President, Allegheny Power. “Further, allowing more power to flow on existing lines is an important step in keeping pace with the region’s increased demand for electricity.”

The Black Oak SVC turnkey project was completed in 14 months, a world record given its size, complexity and scope.. “Collaboration was essential in meeting this aggressive timeline,” said Flitman. “If it were not for the Allegheny and ABB teams working so closely together, we simply would not have been able to get the system online this quickly.”

The Black Oak SVC is equipped with ABB’s advanced MACH 2 control system that will be capable of controlling the operation of the SVC itself, as well as the switching of 500-kV capacitor banks connected to the same substation.

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