Intercolombia, a company owned by Colombian power company ISA, has just installed a $61 million stabilizer system to prevent power oscillation and keep the right electricity tension for residents and industry in the Bogota area.
The system, known as a Static Synchronous Compensator, will “guarantee and improve the stability” of the energy supply to central Colombia, which accounts for 27 percent of all Colombian energy consumption, Carlos Duque, who is in charge of all projects of Intercolombia, told Latin Business Daily by telephone from Colombia.
The equipment was urgently needed as another project by another operator building a transmission line to this heavily industrialized area was delayed, making it vulnerable. It works like a voltage stabilizer like those one has at home to protect electronic equipment but at a much bigger scale, he said.
This “last generation” equipment has been installed in existing substations to protect the supply made available to industries because it keeps the same tension, he added. The contractor for the development of the system was Siemens, so key parts were made in Germany while others were built in China.
Luis Miguel Cabrera, another official at Intercolombia, said because of the large number of industries in the Bogota area, any potential failure would have had serious consequences. Lost tension and a fluctuation of energy could impact industries and their investments, he said. To prevent this, Statcom will help regulate tension by acting as fast as possible to keep the power supply stable. The system can adjust the supply in thousandths of a second, he added.
The system is the biggest in the region operating at such a high altitude, Cabrera said. The system operates at 8,530 feet above sea level.
“With higher altitude there is less oxygen," he said. "It is more likely to see jumps in current as the volume of space is much bigger."
Cabrera said the project was scheduled to be set up by the end of November, but Intercolombia was able to complete it early and the operation started Sept. 20. A high coordination level with contractors, specialists and other participants made this early completion possible, he said. The system will also help keep a steady and stable power supply to the east of the country.
ISA, the Colombian holding company that owns Intercolombia, is the biggest energy transportation company in Latin America with more than 26,000 miles of high-tension circuits. ISA companies operate and maintain international transmission lines operating between Venezuela and Colombia, as well as between Colombia and Ecuador and also between Ecuador and Peru. ISA companies also operate transmission lines within Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Chile and Peru.