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Slovenia to receive its 1st STATCOM from GE
Image courtesy of GE's Grid Solutions
Slovenia to receive its 1st STATCOM from GE

Faced with relatively large voltage oscillations in its electrical transmission system, the Slovenian utility ELES has turned to GE Renewable Energy’s Grid Solutions business and its partner KOLEKTOR IGIN to build a reliable and efficient solution.

The goal of the SINCRO.GRID project is to ensure safe, reliable, and uninterrupted transmission of electricity to ELES’ customers, neighboring countries and other partners. The first ever Static Synchronous Compensator (STATCOM) project in Slovenia, to be executed between GE’s Grid Solutions and Slovenian equipment manufacturer and service provider KOLEKTOR IGIN, will provide fast-acting voltage and reactive power for regional steady-state and dynamic voltage stability. “To deal with the operational challenges of modern transmission grids, companies KOLEKTOR IGIN and GE offered a state-of-the art STATCOM solution that helps meeting ELES’ goals in decarbonization and sustainability,” said Jernej Majcen, Project Manager at ELES. “The installation of the ±150 Mvar STATCOM at the 400 kV substation Beričevo will help ensure greater power system stability, facilitate additional integration of renewable energy sources, and improve the system’s resilience in extreme operating conditions,” he added. Commissioning is planned for early 2022.

Advanced technologies for modern challenges

This STATCOM solution is built with Modular Multilevel Converter (MMC) technology and GE’s model-based Advanced Digital Control (ADC) system, representing GE’s latest and field-proven technology designed for reactive power compensation. With its high degree of system redundancy, GE’s STATCOM provides excellent availability and efficiency, factors that are critical to grid stability. Offering a smaller footprint, it can maintain transmission system voltage stability with its ability to instantly generate or absorb large amounts of reactive power. Even during severe network disturbances, the system reacts quickly and follows grid behavior, significantly reducing the risk of poor power quality or blackout.

GE and KOLEKTOR began working together in 2018 to develop an economical solution to Slovenia’s utility challenges. The investment, co-financed by the European Commission, is part of a joint project for the Slovenian and Croatian transmission and distribution network.

“At KOLEKTOR IGIN, we are pleased to collaborate with GE’s Grid Solutions business to fulfil our customer ELES’s requirements,” said Mr. Anton Sirk, Project Manager for KOLEKTOR IGIN. “From the technical side, this turnkey project is one of the most complex ones among Slovenian transmission systems. STATCOM will ensure higher electro-energetic system stability, enable further integration of renewable energy sources and improve system resistance in case of extreme operating conditions.”