Improving Voltage Stability

Project Scope:

EPC of two 300 MVAR 138/15kV static VAR compensators

Project Type:

FACTS Projects

Utility Substations

Location:
Illinois
Year Completed:
2010

A customer was losing revenue because of voltage drop-outs along the line at a distance from the substation. Finding a solution was a top priority. In search of a team to solve this challenge, the customer turned to Beta, and we helped design, procure and build two 300 MVAR 138/15kV static VAR compensators (SVCs).

The customer faced multiple challenges on this project. One major hurdle was finding a way to tie the SVC project into the existing grid without causing a service disruption or outage. We achieved this by switching the energy load to a bypass bus while we prepared the first of the two new banks. Then we switched the circuit to the new bank and repeated the process with the second bank.

Another challenge was building the project during the winter. The temperature with wind chill ran around minus 30 degrees, with winds gusting up to 30 miles per hour and snow up to 4 feet deep. To work safely, everything had to slow down, cutting production almost in half. The ground was frozen 3 feet deep, so we were unable to do any below grade excavation or work with concrete. However, because we knew in advance that this would be a problem, we worked with our customer to plan and complete all below grade work before winter set in.

Not only did we help the customer complete this project safely, on time and on budget, but the customer was so impressed with our high-quality work and reliability that they came to us again five years later to complete site modifications.

Detailed Scope of Work

• Hydrovac perimeter of new yard to verify no underground utilities

• SVC control building erection

• Layout, excavation and construction of over 100 spread footings, two transformer slabs with oil containment units, and SVC building slabs

• Testing included: control cable termination testing, Megger testing, trip test, fault test, high pot test and power factoring

• Below grade conduit and duct package installations

• Construction of extensive aluminum tube bus work

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