GE’s FACTS technology helps the City of Los Angeles move closer to its renewable energy goals
- A new contract for GE Renewable Energy’s Grid Solutions business will help Los Angeles significantly increase its grid transmission capacity and move closer to meeting its renewable energy goals
- GE’s Flexible AC Transmission Systems (FACTS) will help provide system stability for renewable energy use while adding 475 MW of capacity
- As grid challenges become more complex, GE’s Grid Solutions business continues to meet the growing power needs of transmission systems worldwide
GE Renewable Energy’s Grid Solutions business has been contracted to provide its unique and innovative Flexible AC Transmission Systems (FACTS) to help the City of Los Angeles, California, meet its renewable energy goals.
As the primary technology subcontractor on the $75-million project led by Beta Engineering California LP, GE will provide four new Fixed Series Capacitor (FSC) systems at two Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) switching stations. The new FSC banks will add 475 MW of capacity, allowing for more stable renewable energy use as part of LA’s Green New Deal to transition to 100% renewable energy. The work is expected to be substantially completed within the next two and a half years.
As more governments and industries recognize the need for clean energy, the need to overhaul the corresponding electric infrastructure has become more pressing than ever. That’s where GE’s FACTS solutions—like the FSC systems—come in, offering grid operators the ability to provide reactive power support, enhance controllability, improve stability, and increase the power transfer of existing alternating current transmission systems without having to invest in building costly new lines. The added stability means less damage to transmission and distribution equipment and, ultimately, fewer potential blackouts.
Available for both new and existing substations, GE’s FACTS portfolio includes power electronic-based technology, as well as more traditional electro-mechanical solutions, which utility operators have become more interested in because of their grid-friendly and reliable nature.
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Meeting renewable energy goals
LADWP transmission studies had shown the need to upgrade the Department’s series capacitors to boost capacity and address ongoing maintenance issues along West of Colorado River (WOR) Path 46. The added capacity from the new banks will help the Department meet California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) policy, the City’s Sustainability Plan, LA100 goals, and the mandates set forth in California Senate Bill 100.
“With more than a century of experience designing transmission networks, this contract award reiterates our customers’ confidence in our FACTS solutions. This increased capacity rating will allow new renewable generation projects to be interconnected to LADWP’s power system, helping it meet the local environmental mandates that have been set forth,” explained Fabrice Jullien, FACTS Global Business Leader at GE’s Grid Solutions. “It is one more step to providing 100% clean, renewable energy for the City of Los Angeles.”
More about the contract
Located in southeast California and Nevada up to the Colorado River, the set of 14 high voltage (230 kV and 500 kV) alternating current transmission lines known as the WOR Path 46 have a total capacity of 10.6 GW. Shared by many utilities, including LADWP, the lines’ capacity comes from many different sources, such as hydroelectric dams and, more recently, utility-scale solar and wind plants.
The agreement, led by GE’s partner Beta Engineering California LP, includes the replacement of two obsolete FSC systems on two parallel transmission lines plus the addition of two new FSC systems. The FSCs will be located at LADWP’s McCullough and Victorville switching stations. The project includes the demolition of the existing series capacitors, as well as the design, engineering, procurement, installation, integration, training, and commissioning of the new FSC banks and associated equipment.
GE’s Grid Integration Solutions division, which comprises high voltage direct current (HVDC) and FACTS technologies, designs and integrates transmission solutions that help meet the world’s ever-evolving power needs. GE is the undisputed global leader in FSC technology with more than 141,000 megavar (Mvar) of reactive compensation installed, dating back to 1928 when the first FSC solution was installed at New York Power & Light.