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Features Zurich, Switzerland 11-02-2020

3 min read

ABB pioneers new grid technology to support Germany’s energy transition

ABB’s Power Grids business has completed the installation of the world’s first hybrid static compensator (STATCOM) to TenneT – a leading electricity transmission system operator (TSO), who operates the Dutch and a large part of Germany’s high-voltage power grid. The solution is situated in the substation in Borken (in the Federal State Hessen) and was officially inaugurated by TenneT on 24th January 2020.

A world first, due to its unique ability to combine dynamic and static reactive power compensation on a 30% reduced footprint, the ABB STATCOM solution is located in the Borken substation in Central Germany. The solution strengthens and stabilizes the German power grid by providing reactive power compensation and dynamic voltage support to keep the grid stable at the required voltage. ABB Power Grids designed the solution to meet the specific requirements of TenneT.

The outside yard of the Hybrid STATCOM in the substation in Borken
The outside yard of the Hybrid STATCOM in the substation in Borken

ABB Power Grids is contributing to Germany’s target of 65% renewables by 2030

As part of the energy transition, Germany is increasing its share of renewables, which have grown in 2019 by 5.4 percent to 46 percent. Going forward, the country is expected to continue to ramp up its investment in renewables to reach a target of 65 percent of the country’s total power mix by 2030. Consequently, a huge amount of reactive power is needed to balance and stabilize the national grid. This is because as more centralized fossil power generation close to the consumption areas is phased out and replaced by more intermittent sources of energy (wind and solar) there is a greater need to transport electricity and thus to do more to maintain overall balance and stability.

How are ABB’s hybrid STATCOM solutions contributing to the balancing act?

Much of Germany’s renewable power is generated in the north and east of the country. From there, it is transmitted in bulk to the south – where there is a deficit. And as such, there is the need to balance reactive power demand. This is where ABB’s hybrid STATCOM fits in. It can provide 400 MVAr of reactive power from a compact system that is easily integrated into an existing substation and that enhances the capacity and flexibility of power networks.

Hybrid STATCOM is part of ABB's family of flexible alternating current transmission system (FACTS) technologies. Globally, ABB has delivered more than 800 FACTS installations worldwide.

ABB Power Grids is a global leader and pioneer in power technologies. We create value for customers across the energy, industrial, transportation and infrastructure sectors, delivering an extensive range of digitally-advanced solutions. Active in 90+ countries, our experts contribute deep insight that enhances reliability, efficiency and safety. Together, we are committed to shaping the future of sustainable energy for generations to come, as the partner of choice for a stronger, smarter and greener grid. hitachiabb-powergrids.com