American Superconductor Corporation, a leading global supplier of superconductor products and power electronic switches for the power infrastructure, today announced that it has been selected by the General Electric Company as the primary supplier of high temperature superconductor (HTS) wire for development of the world’s first 100 MW HTS generator. The HTS generator project, valued at US$26 million, is one of seven recently announced projects that are part of the U.S. Department of Energy Superconductivity Partnership Initiative (SPI) program.
Electric utility generators typically produce power in the range of 100 to 1,200 MW. GE believes its innovative HTS generator will provide a breakthrough in high-efficiency generators creating the potential for annual energy savings of several billion kilowatt hours that can lead to millions of dollars in energy savings, reduced emissions, and enhanced competitiveness of U.S. utilities in growing global markets.
Recent progress made by American Superconductor in HTS wire manufacturing has helped pave the way for the development of HTS generators with the potential for competitive cost, high reliability, rapid market introduction, and a high probability of acceptance by the power industry. American Superconductor expects that its first generation HTS wire will meet GE’s cost and performance targets for commercial generators.
“Utility generators, industrial ship propulsion motors, and power cables represent a huge market opportunity for our HTS wires,” said Greg Yurek, president and chief executive officer, American Superconductor. “The demand for HTS wires for utility generators alone could exceed the annual capacity of our new HTS wire manufacturing plant, the first commercial HTS wire manufacturing plant in the world.”
The GE HTS generator is the second recently announced DOE-SPI project for which American Superconductor will be providing its high-performance HTS wire. The company announced on September 26, 2001 that it would supply Pirelli Power Cables and Systems with HTS wire for a half-mile long, underground cable to be installed in Long Island Power Authority’s transmission grid on Long Island, New York.