The role of flexible alternating current transmission systems (FACTSs) in the provision of grid services is becoming increasingly important, due to the massive integration of intermittent renewable energy sources, energy storage systems, and the decommissioning of thermal plants. A comprehensive literature review of grid services offered by FACTS is performed, focusing on the different grid services that they can provide, such as power flow control, reactive power control, voltage control, power quality improvement, harmonic mitigation, improvement of transient stability, and damping of inter-area and intra-area oscillations. These grid services need to be realistically and economically validated in suitable testing environments. A review of relevant standards, guides, and the literature is performed, which covers the entire range from functional specification and factory testing up to the field testing of FACTS. Advanced industry practices, such as controller hardware in the loop (CHIL) testing of FACTS controllers by the manufacturer, and recent trends, such as CHIL testing of replica controllers by the owner, are underlined. Limitations of conventional testing and CHIL testing are explained and the use of power hardware in the loop (PHIL) simulation for FACTS testing is discussed. CHIL and scaled-down PHIL tests on a transmission static synchronous compensator (STATCOM) are performed and a comparison of the results is presented.
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