Firefly algorithm has become one of the prominent population-based metaheuristics due to its efficiency in solving a wide range of real time problems. In this paper a Progressive Firefly Algorithm (PFA) to solve optimal reactive power problem is presented. In the present approach, some modifications on the firefly algorithm are presented to improve its performance. To improve its performance three basic modifications are proposed in the proposed work. These modifications consist of adding memory, adding newborn fireflies and proposing a new updating formula. The proposed PFA has been tested on standard IEEE 30 bus test system and simulation results show clearly the better performance of the proposed algorithm in reducing the real power loss.