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Public-images-osm logo.svg substation = compensation
A substation only used for reactive power compensation of a power line or underground cable. It usually does not comprise transformers but switchgear can be used for compensation devices disconnection. Show/edit corresponding data item.
Group: power
Used on these elements
should not be used on nodesshould not be used on waysmay be used on areas (and multipolygon relations)should not be used on relations (except multipolygon relations)
Useful combination
Status: approvedPage for proposal

A compensation substation is a type of substation used only for compensation of reactive power of a power line or underground cable. It usually does not comprise transformers or switchgear except possibly switches for disconnecting the compensation components such as reactors or series capacitors.

This value has been questionned in 2019 in Substation functions proposal as compensation may be used at different network levels and then conflicts with transmission or distribution.

How to map

See power=substation for more information on how to tag substations.

Dedicated compensation substations are fairly easy to identify on aerial imagery. Important features:

  • They are normally only present on long, high-voltage power lines (> 200 kV). Sometimes they will be adjacent to a "traditional" substation, but they can also be in the middle of lines.
  • There is only a single voltage of line entering the substation
  • The substation layout is normally quite simple, consisting of only a busbar and some compensation equipment.


  • way McLeese Capacitor Station, British Columbia, Canada. A compensation substation on a large, 6-circuit 500kV line.
McLeese Capacitor Station, British Columbia, Canada