18 Gigawatts of Wind Power

Electric Transmission Texas LLC (ETT) is spending more than $50 million on electrical equipment to improve reliability, strengthen the existing transmission grid and facilitate the integration of wind power.

The project is part of the Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ) program, aimed at increasing the contribution of renewable energy in Texas by up to 18 gigawatts. ETT owns and operates transmission facilities within the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, primarily in and around the AEP Texas Central Company and AEP Texas North Company service territories.

The project, which is one of the world’s largest land-based wind initiatives, is scheduled to be completed by 2013. Power and automation vendor ABB (www.abb.com) will design, supply, install and commission four static var compensators (SVCs) at two sites. SVCs are part of ABB’s family of FACTS (flexible alternating current transmission systems) technologies, which help enhance the capacity and flexibility of power transmission systems.

Peter Leupp, head of ABB’s Power Systems division, says 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 help address voltage and frequency stability issues.” ABB has more than 800 FACTS installations in operation or under construction around the world.

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