ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)– As the demand for efficient and reliable power continues to grow, so does the need for alternative energy sources and the necessity to transmit energy from rural power generation facilities to high-consumption metropolitan regions. Helping to meet this demand, GE (NYS: GE) will work with Electric Transmission Texas, LLC (ETT) on the largest series compensation project in the United States.
ETT, a joint venture between subsidiaries of American Electric Power (NYS: AEP) and MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company (MidAmerican), is a regulated transmission-only utility which builds, owns and operates transmission assets as a regulated utility in Texas.
Under the terms of the multi-million dollar contract, GE will be installing eight series compensation banks at four different facilities owned by ETT in West and Central Texas. The project will employ hundreds of U.S. workers in engineering, manufacturing (U.S. factories), project management and construction.
A series compensation bank is a combination of series capacitors, varistors and protection and control equipment, placed on a steel platform at line potential and designed to inject VARs into the transmission grid. This allows more megawatts (the portion of electric power used in our homes) to flow across the transmission lines.
For this project, GE will provide series compensation banks, complete with bypass breakers, relay control houses and battery equipment to ETT. In addition to supplying equipment, GE also will provide project management, installation services, training and long-term maintenance support. Over the course of the project GE will provide ETT with nearly 4,000 MVars of reactive support for the transmission system.
The project, which is part of the larger $7 billion competitive renewable energy zone (CREZ) initiative enacted by the Public Utility Commission of Texas and administered by ERCOT (Electric Reliability Council of Texas), centers around providing transmission line access for wind power development in the Western and Panhandle regions of Texas.
“GE’s series compensation banks will enhance the reliability and throughput of the 345 kV transmission network being built, providing stability to the Texas CREZ system,” said Robert Turko, general manager, power delivery, at GE’S Digital Energy Business. “Facilitating the distribution of clean, renewable power into Texas’s electrical grid is essential to meeting ever-increasing energy demands.”
Materials for this project will be shipped throughout the first and second quarters of 2013, with banks being installed and tested in the second half of the year. Commercial operation is slated to begin between October and November of 2013.
GE Energy Management’s Digital Energy business is a global leader in protection and control, communications, power sensing and power quality solutions. Its products and services increase the reliability of electrical power networks and critical equipment for utility, industrial and large commercial customers. From protecting and optimizing assets such as generators, transmission lines and motors, to ensuring secure wireless data transmission and providing uninterruptible power, GE Energy Management’s Digital Energy business delivers industry-leading technologies to solve the unique challenges of each customer.