Reactive power compensation in the electrical utility system employs static VAR compensators (SVCs) and static compensators (STATCOMs). However, these solutions are based upon large banks of capacitors, a component known to have reliability problems. Over decades of service life, these capacitors must be continuously monitored and periodically replaced - adding maintenance and operational costs. This paper proposes a VAR compensator based on a 3/3 matrix converter that uses inductors instead, which are maintenance-free, rugged, and do not suffer from the same wear-out mechanisms that limit the service life of capacitors. The proposed compensator is seen as a better solution to reactive power compensation in view of its higher reliability and long-term levelized cost benefits.