This study team is part of an effort to optimize the generation efficiency at the Grant PUD generation power plants, improve transmission system efficiency, and analyze potential excessive circulating reactive power flows in this area. In general, it had been observed that the generating units at Wanapum Dam absorbed reactive power, measured in VARs, constantly in all loading conditions. This mode of operation had the detrimental effect of reducing the capacity of the Wanapum power house generation units, increasing transmission system losses and decreasing electric system stability. A study conducted by Grant PUD to determine the root of the problem indicated that a significant amount of reactive power was being imported from BPA’s 500 kV system and absorbed at the Wanapum units. These conditions resulting in increased heating on the Wanapum units, reducing generation capacity, increasing transmission losses and reducing the capability of the units to respond to system disturbances. To solve the issue, Grant PUD's Systems Engineering recommended a more effective operating voltage schedule for the automatic voltage regulation at both Wanapum and Priest Rapids dams as well as coordinating with BPA to enact settings changes to BPA equipment. However, Grant PUD also wants to involve interested parties in this study process as part of the study team work.
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