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Statcom Article
Statcom Article
Statcom Article
Statcom Article
Statcom Article

U.K.'s National Grid Energizes First-of-its-Kind STATCOM Scheme

May 20, 2020
Project represents largest utility-grade STATCOM scheme in Europe, delivering a 975-MVAR power range.

National Grid in the United Kingdom has energized its Dynamic Reactive Compensator (DRC) project, which represents the largest utility-grade static synchronous compensator (STATCOM) scheme in Europe, delivering a 975-MVAR power range. It is deployed and coordinated over three separate substations along the transmission network in southeast U.K. the project was supplied and completed by GE Renewable Energy’s Grid Solutions business. 

In late November 2019, the last of the three sites was energized. All three are now operational and commercially available, supporting high-voltage direct current (HVDC) interconnectors with Europe. With hybrid STATCOM technology in place, the Bolney, Ninfield, and Richborough substations are now supporting National Grid's alternating current (ac) network and enhancing regional voltage stability for the U.K.-Belgium HVDC interconnection, which will deliver more than 1 GW of bidirectional power between the two countries. With less than 90-msec response time, the scheme, which consists of three separate hybrid STATCOM units, delivers dynamic reactive power range from -300-MVAR inductive (absorbing VARs) to +675-MVAR capacitive (injecting VARs) with availability of 95%, as per customer requirement.

In 2016, GE’s Grid Solutions was awarded a contract by National Grid to supply its latest utility-grade static synchronous compensator (STATCOM) solution along the transmission grid at the Bolney, Ninfield, and Richborough substations in southeast U.K. The first DRC solution commissioned at Bolney substation, which started commercial operation in May 2019, uses a MMC STATCOM and TSC technology to provide reactive power compensation along with a separate high-voltage mechanically switched capacitor dynamic network (MSCDN).

According to GE, this is a first-of-its-kind voltage compensation scheme that will help National Grid provide a reliable electricity supply to its customers, even when network faults occur. This latest generation STATCOM solution is a voltage source converter (VSC) technology based on MMC architecture. The design provides stable output power generation, helping customer grids handle faults and fault recovery.

"Working with GE, National Grid has now implemented the largest voltage compensation scheme in Europe, an accomplishment that we are immensely proud of," said National Grid's Electricity Transmission, Head of Customer Solutions Hedd Roberts.

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