France wants FACTS

ABB has won a turnkey contract worth $15 million to install Flexible Alternating Current Transmission Systems (FACTS) technology in France.

According to ABB, the contract, awarded by RTE, the French Transmission System Operator, will improve the efficiency of the transmission system and increase grid reliability in north western France, ensuring voltage stability in the region.

The order includes ABB’s Static Var Compensator (SVC) technology – part of the FACTS portfolio – that helps to stabilise power grids. Under the latest contract in France, which is scheduled for completion in 2005, two SVCs will be located in Bretagne close to the cities of Saint Brieu and Lorient.

ABB says that the power industry term FACTS covers a number of technologies that enhance the security, capacity and flexibility of power transmission systems. FACTS solutions enable grid owners to increase the capacity of existing transmission networks, while maintaining or improving the operating margins necessary for grid stability.

By applying FACTS, more power can reach consumers with minimum impact on the environment, and at lower investment costs compared to the more time-consuming alternative of building new transmission lines or power plants.

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