CSW and Brownsville PUB Plan to Install STATCOM Voltage Regulation Device

September 15, 1999 by Jeff Shepard

Central and South West Corp. (CSW, Dallas, TX) and the Brownsville Public Utilities Board (Brownsville PUB, Brownsville, TX) announced plans to install a "state-of-the-art" voltage regulation device to enable power to be delivered more reliably over existing transmission lines.The STATCOM (solid-state electronic static compensator) is a family of voltage-sourced converter/power electronic products under development by Electric Power Research Institute, Siemens, and other manufacturers of transmission voltage and power flow control equipment.A STATCOM will be installed south of Brownsville and will be jointly owned by CSW's subsidiary, Central Power and Light Company, and the Brownsville PUB. The equipment's installation is claimed to mark the first large-scale application of this type of technology in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. The contract for installation of the purchase and equipment has been awarded to Siemens Power Transmission & Distribution Company by CSW and Brownsville PUB. The targeted completion date is August 2000.Installation of the 150MVA STATCOM system is part of a comprehensive plan to improve voltage stability in the lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas. This equipment is designed to improve transmission system flexibility and increase the capability of the transmission grid in South Texas to handle possible loss of a major transmission line. "The STATCOM technology features a more flexible design and has a faster response than the conventional thyristor-switched capacitors," said Preston Kissman, CSWS vice president of electric delivery. "The STATCOM technology also lends itself very well to additional uses, such as expansion of the device into an HVDC interconnection with Mexico."