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This project ended in Aug 2020 and is now closed.

Virtual Statcom

Funding mechanismNetwork Innovation Allowance (NIA)
DurationNov 2018 - Aug 2020
Project expenditure£293K
Research areaNetwork Improvements and System Operability
  • South West
  • August 2020

    Virtual Statcom is nearing the completion with the Work Package 5 report now being finalised.


  1. Implementation of an algorithm in power system analysis software, which can control and coordinate the power factor of existing generators in order to increase network capacity.
  2. Provide recommendations on whether the implementation of such a technology in a trial project is recommended.


The increasing number of distributed generation and low carbon technologies connected in electricity distribution networks means that the available capacity for connections is rapidly decreasing. In order to allow more low carbon technologies to connect to the network it is necessary to find new ways of providing additional network capacity since the traditional approach of physically extending the network can take a long time and can be expensive. Voltage is one of the constraints that can limit network capacity, especially in areas where the voltages are approaching the statutory voltage limits defined in Electricity Safety, Quality and Continuity Regulations (ESQCR). Therefore, by improving the network voltages, additional network capacity could be provided.


In this project, power system studies will be performed to determine whether it is possible to improve the network voltages and release network capacity by controlling the power factor of generators already connected to the 11kV and 33kV network. Collectively, the generators will form a Virtual STATCOM.