Continuing to demonstrate its solid reputation, experience and product leadership in series compensation, the Flexible AC Transmission System (FACTS) product line from GE’s Digital Energy business (NYSE:GE) was awarded several key customer orders in the second half of 2013. These wins reinforce GE’s industry leadership with advanced technology, outstanding technical performance and global project execution capabilities. The transmission industry is facing a number of challenges that are stressing the grid in ways never before seen. Coal plant retirements, aging infrastructure, additions of renewable power and grid reliability are leading utilities to require highly technical solutions to address these concerns. They are looking for proven, reliable and efficient solutions that are both cost-effective and have no impact on their overall systems. GE excels at meeting both of these requirements and continues to be rewarded for it. “GE has been providing advanced series compensation systems to its customers for nearly a century now,” said Bob Turko, general manager, power systems, GE's Digital Energy business. “The orders we received toward the end of 2013 add to our extensive portfolio of series compensation projects and solidify our leadership in the segment. With these projects, the FACTS product line of our Digital Energy business looks to continue its tradition of cost-effective, on-time and on-budget project execution for our customers.” Over the next 12 to 18 months, GE will be working with the following utilities from around the world to successfully install and commission series compensation systems, providing each with more reliable and efficient power.
- Beta Engineering California LP for San Diego Gas & Electric’s East County (ECO) Substation Project—GE’s scope of work for the project includes a 500-kilovolt, 449-MVAr gapless series bank on an engineered equipment package (EEP) basis (including commissioning support). Beta Engineering will provide the construction and overall site management for the job. The primary application of the series compensation system is to provide compensation between San Diego Gas & Electric’s new ECO substation and its existing Miguel substation. The job is expected to be commissioned in 12 months (August 2013—August 2014).
- Florida Keys Cooperative—GE’s scope will include a 138-kilovolt, 56-MVAr gapless series bank on an EEP basis (also including commissioning support). The bank will be installed in the Islamorada substation located near the coast. The challenges of wind speeds and environmental conditions were key customer requirements, which GE’s design was able to meet. In addition, GE was able to meet the aggressive schedule of commissioning of the bank—in less than 12 months. UC Synergetic (a wholly owned subsidiary of Pike Corporation) is the prime contractor for the project.
- Energía Argentina Sociedad Anónima (ENARSA)—GE will be working with Isolux-Cartellone, its engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) partner in Buenos Aires, Argentina, at the Puerto Madryn substation. It will be providing engineering, project management and series capacitor equipment for a 500-kilovolt, 378-MVAr series compensation system. Plans are to deliver equipment for this project before the end of 2014.
- NorthWestern Energy (Montana)—The scope of GE’s work on the project includes EPC of a 230-kilovolt, 117-MVAr gapless series bank. In addition, GE will provide factory testing and installation of the series bank. The system will be used to increase the power flow on the Mill Creek-Peterson transmission line when the series capacitors are inserted, thereby increasing the overall transfer capability of the line. The project is expected to be in service by October 2014.
- Western Area Power Administration (WAPA)—GE will be upgrading four, dual-segmented banks for WAPA over the next four years—starting with the Maxwell substation in 2014, followed by the Olinda North and South substations and finishing with the Tracy substation in 2017. An upgrade to bank platforms and ground controls is planned for each substation over the next four years. Key milestones for each bank upgrade are drawing approvals, factory customer witness testing, delivery of equipment, installation of equipment, training and final drawings and instruction books.