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Siemens hands over its 100th static synchronous compensator to Amprion

Voltage regulation system for the Kusenhorst substation. Two-thirds of the multilevel STATCOMs installed worldwide are from Siemens

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Siemens
Siemens AG

In handing over the converter for a state-of-the-art grid stabilization system for voltage regulation to the German transmission grid operator Amprion, Siemens is celebrating delivery of its one-hundredth STATCOM (static synchronous compensator) from the SVC PLUS series. The turnkey installation will be deployed in the important Kusenhorst node in North Rhine Westphalia, Germany. STATCOM systems stabilize fluctuations in the grid by absorbing or feeding in voltage-supporting reactive power, depending on the requirements. This approach significantly reduces the risk of voltage drops and blackouts. Two-thirds of the globally installed STATCOM systems with modular multilevel converter technology (MMC) are from Siemens, making the company the world market leader in this segment.

“Handing over the converter for the one-hundredth SVC PLUS system marks an important milestone for Siemens,” says Mirko Düsel, head of Transmission Solutions at Siemens Gas and Power. “The growing share of renewable, volatile generation plants and the increasing transmission distance between power generation and the consumers means that power grids must be reoriented for the future. Rapid regulation of reactive power and digital add-on functions, such as the active filter function for improving power quality, are key elements in combination with power electronics.”

The SVC PLUS system for Amprion is designed for a reactive power range of +/- 300 MVAr and will regulate and secure the voltage in the grid, depending on the requirements. “With the new STATCOM system for the Kusenhorst substation, we are investing in transmission grid reliability and living up to our responsibility for secure grid operation,” says Ludger Meier, who heads Operations and Engineering at Amprion. “We have chosen Siemens as a reliable technology partner, that has proven its expertise in providing the SVC PLUS system for the Kriftel substation.”

The heart of SVC PLUS, an enhanced STATCOM, is its MMC technology, which ensures that the generated voltage waveform is sinusoidal, and no harmonic filters are needed. As a result, the system takes up less space and can regulate the voltage at high speed. Voltage fluctuations can arise worldwide due to different factors, such as the volatile infeed of energy from renewable sources or the connection and disconnection of energy-intensive industrial plants. Voltage collapse can cause major disruptions. Since many large power plants, which used to provide the necessary reactive power, are leaving the grid as a result of global decarbonization, grid operators around the world are responding by building STATCOM systems.

Siemens launched the SVC PLUS technology in 2008 by connecting the offshore wind farm in Thanet (UK) to the grid, which at the time was the largest of its kind in the world. In 2016, Siemens installed four SVC PLUS systems in India and thus secured one of the world’s largest reactive power compensation projects at the 400 kV voltage level. Constantly developing the technology smoothed the way for additional grid stabilization solutions. In 2017, Siemens handed over its first mobile STATCOM to the American grid operator Dominion Energy. Preinstalled in containers, the mobile unit is a flexible solution for temporarily supporting the grid in the event of blackouts caused by emergencies such as earthquakes or critical threats. In the future, Siemens will continue moving toward digitalization in the area of grid stabilization. The goal is to give grid operators a load flow management system.

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