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The power grid is aging, and getting increasingly congested. Conventional solutions, such as flexible ac transmission systems (FACTS) can be used to control power flow on the grid. However, widespread adoption of this technology has been hampered by high costs and reliability concerns. The concept of distributed FACTS devices, as an alternative approach to realizing cost-effective power flow control, has been recently proposed. This paper discusses the design considerations for implementing distributed power control solutions on the power grid, with specific examples for series var compensation, and the significant impact it can have on grid utilization and system reliability. The ability to use mature power conversion techniques demonstrates the potential for low-cost implementation.