Improving network controllability by Flexible Alternating Current Transmission System (FACTS) and by High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) transmission systems

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S. Ruberg
H.M. Lopes Ferreira
A. L'Abbate
U. Hager
G. Fulli
Y. Li
J. Schwippe
Publications Office of the European Commission

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The present report aims at describing the main features of two key families of advanced power technologies, which may play a crucial role in the further development of the European transmission system: Flexible Alternating Current Transmission System (FACTS) and High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) transmission. These power electronics-based devices offer the possibility to increase transmission network capacity as well as flexibility and generally enhance system reliability, security, and controllability with a limited environmental impact. FACTS and HVDC may provide transmission planners with effective solutions to several problems they encounter nowadays in planning their grids.

After illustrating the technical characteristics of the different FACTS and HVDC technologies, crucial economic and environmental figures are provided. These elements are needed for a techno-economic and also environmental assessment of the impact of such devices on the system. Also planning guidelines for general and some specific application cases are described in this report.

The final goal is to provide the European TSOs with the key elements of FACTS and HVDC and with guidelines to support their decision-making to select the most sound expansion alternative, while including FACTS and HVDC among the possible reinforcement options of modern transmission planning processes.