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In this paper a new formulation of the general capacitor placement problem is introduced. Practical aspects of capacitors, load constraints and operational constraints at different load levels are considered. This study considers the realistic nature of load variation of the feeder. The problem is solved using a powerful simulated annealing approach presented in this paper. The availability of simulated annealing as a general-purpose optimization technique allows us to consider the realistic cost function despite its non-differentiability. Two solution methodologies are presented to determine the sizes, locations, and control settings of capacitors at different load levels. A modification is made for the switched capacitor placement problem that greatly reduces the computational time without loss of solution quality. The methodologies are implemented on a test feeder available in literature and results show that the methodologies lead to superior results with less computational time.