SIW21-95: Hybridizing Synchronous Condensers with Grid-Forming Battery Energy Storage Systems

Research output: NRELPresentation


One of the main challenges associated with deployment of high shares of inverter-based resources (IBRs) in power grid is not only reduced system inertia but also degrading system strength that may cause severe stability impacts. A minimum level of system strength is needed for the power system to remain stable under normal conditions and to return to a steady state condition following a system disturbance. Significant system strength reduction is expected in almost all planned areas for solar and wind generation deployment. Synchronous condensers (SC) have been considered as one main technology to address the system strength issues for the areas with high levels of IBRs. SCs can help improving reliability and resiliency of power system but they do not provide the full range of services needed by power systems for reliable and economic integration of high shares of inverter-coupled variable generation such as PV generation. Services related to active power controls cannot be provided by SCs due to lack of prime mover. Even for provision of reactive power SCs have certain constraints based on their thermal and stability limits. NREL has been conducting research on a hybridized concept that combines SCs with grid forming (GFM) battery energy storage systems (BESS). This super flexible AC transmission system (SuperFACTS) that combines these two technologies in a single plant under the same controller offers a unique scalable set of services to the power system at all levels (transmission, sub-transmission, distribution, islands and isolated microgrids). Depending on use cases, SuperFACTS can be controlled to provide fully dispatchable and flexible operation using energy storage component, provide a full range of existing and future ancillary and reliability services to the grid (similar or better than conventional sources), maintain adequate levels of grid strength and inertia, and provide fault current for proper operation of protection systems. Therefore, this economic and easy to commercialize solution has potential for significant impacts on certain segments of global energy sector. All types of gird services (market based, reliability and resiliency) can be provided by SuperFACTS plants. GFM BESS can act as a self-black start source for each SuperFACTS module, which in turn can act a black start resource for co-located PV and wind power plants, segments of transmission and distribution networks, for conventional power plants, etc. The issue of in-rush currents during black start is addressed by overcurrent capability of SCs. In this paper we describe the results of modeling for SuperFACTS concept.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages24
StatePublished - 2021

Publication series

NamePresented at the 11th International Workshop on Integration of Solar Power and Storage, 28-29 September 2021, Berlin, Germany

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-5D00-81678


  • grid forming
  • synchronous condenser


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