This paper deals with the design methodology for cascaded multilevel converter (CMC)-based transmission-type STATCOM(T-STATCOM) and the development of a +/- 12MVAR, 12 kV line-to-line wye-connected, 11-level CMC. Sizing of the CMC module, the number of H-bridges (HBs) in each phase of the CMC, ac voltage rating of the CMC, the number of paralleled CMC modules in the T-STATCOM system, the optimum value of series filter reactors, and the determination of busbar in the power grid to which the T-STATCOM system is going to be connected are also discussed in this paper in view of the IEEE Std. 519-1992, current status of high voltage (HV) insulated gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) technology, and the required reactive power variation range for the T-STATCOM application. In the field prototype of the CMC module, the ac voltages are approximated to sinusoidal waves by the selective harmonic elimination method (SHEM). The equalization of dc-link capacitor voltages is achieved according to the modified selective swapping (MSS) algorithm. In this study, an L-shaped laminated bus has been designed and the HV IGBT driver circuit has been modified for the optimum switching performance of HV IGBT modules in each HB. The laboratory and field performances of the CMC module and of the resulting T-STATCOM system are found to be satisfactory and quite consistent with the design objectives.