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The availability of substation-based computers and the decreasing relative cost of installation, operation and control of switched capacitors encourage the use of more sophisticated and effective capacitive compensation schemes for loss minimization on radial distribution feeders. This paper sets forth a new voltage dependent model for the optimal control and design problems involving continuously controllable shunt capacitors on primary feeders. The new model obviates the need for a load-flow solution while allowing inclusion of the effects of voltage variation on the design and control phases of an optimal capacitive compensation scheme. The benefits and limitations of the model are reflected via numerical examples.