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Utilities to invest $42B+ in flexible AC transmission systems by 2022, says Navigant


August 14, 2014 – A recent report from Navigant Research finds that cumulative investments by utilities and power grid operators in flexible alternating current transmission systems (FACTS) will total $42.3 billion from 2014 through 2022, with a growth in distributed renewable energy resources driving the demand.

“The majority of electricity transmission systems in service today rely on many of the same technologies that existed at their conception more than a century ago,” said James McCray, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “Sophisticated FACTS technologies demonstrate tremendous potential to provide solutions to problems, such as localized voltage sag, power factor fluctuations, and flicker, that are caused by renewables intermittency, increasing industrial loads, and power plant retirements.”

The capital costs and uncertainty associated with new transmission grid and high-voltage substation construction are very high, noted the report, especially in an era of distributed renewable energy resources. As a result, transmission grid operators and utilities seek to mitigate voltage drops over long-haul transmission lines, driving the requirement for new, large-scale FACTS deployments, it continued.

The report, “Flexible AC Transmission Systems”, analyzes the global market for FACTS technologies, including an analysis of the market issues, drivers, challenges, and regulatory factors related to FACTS systems. Global capacity and revenue forecasts, segmented by converter type and region, extend through 2023, and include base, conservative, and aggressive scenarios.