Static Synchronous Compensator (STATCOM) is one of the most sophisticated technology under the umbrella of Flexible AC Transmission Systems (FACTS). The technology is attractive choice due to its faster response and smaller footprint as compared to Static VAR Compensator (SVC).

Since the beginning of year 2021, multiple utility STATCOM projects have been announced and tenders have been awarded to top OEMs from across the globe. The article discusses few notable STATCOM wins in first and second quarter of year 2021.

In Europe, German power system has been undergoing a massive transition in their energy mix with an aim to cater 80% of their energy need from renewable energy resource by 2050. This shift in energy mix will cause closing of conventional power plants and installation of renewable power plants resulting in the deficiency of reactive power support required by the grid to cater voltage deviations. To provide reactive power support and to maintain voltage stability, all four transmission system operators of Germany aim to install around 70 STATCOMs by 2030. Working on same lines, Amprion has awarded STATCOM orders to Siemens Energy and Hitachi ABB Power Grids. Two STATCOMs each having capacity of ±600 MVAr will be supplied and installed by Siemens at Mannheim-Rheinau and Polsum substations whereas Hitachi ABB Power Grids will be delivering STATCOMs for Wehrendorf and Lampertheim substation. The STATCOM to be installed at Wehrendorf will have capacity of ±300 MVAr whereas STATCOM at Lampertheim substation will have capacity of ±600 MVAr.

There are not a lot of STATCOM deployments in Middle East and Africa (MEA) till date. However, a major traction has been observed from MEA market this year. Recently, Siemens Energy has been awarded first grid stabilization project in Sudan by The Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company and the Sudanese Electricity Transmission Company which entails development of two substations along with STATCOM to strengthen and stabilize the Egypt-Sudan AC Link. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has also started to invest in STATCOMs in 2021. STATCOM orders for Najran and Kudimi Substation have already been awarded to Alfanar and Siemens Energy. There are couple of other STATCOM projects as well for which bids have been under evaluation and are soon expected to be materialized. The total value of these STATCOM orders in KSA is beyond $100 Million. Electricity and Water Authority (EWA) of Bahrain has also awarded an order for the installation of three STATCOMs to Hitachi ABB Power Grids. The STATCOMs having capacity of ±200 MVAr each will be installed at new Hidd, new Riffa and Manama substations.

Movement has been resumed in USA market which was affected and on halt due to COVID-19. Siemens Energy has reported a STATCOM win from USA as well. Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) has awarded a contract of ±200 Mvar STATCOM to Siemens Energy to provide necessary voltage support in order to transport large amount of renewable energy from generation to demand centers of Los Angeles.

In APAC, most of the demand is seen to be originating not only from utility sector but also from renewables developers i.e., solar and wind farms. China is biggest demand center in APAC. Due to their strict grid code requirements, thousands of MVAr are being installed in the form of STATCOMs every year in local solar and wind farms. Other key countries which are part of the list are Australia, South Korea, Japan, and India.

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