Posted in | Energy

AMSC Receives $12m for Superconductor Projects

American Superconductor Corporation, a global energy technologies company, today announced that the United States Department of Energy (DOE) has provided more than $12 million in funding to AMSC under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to complete the following ongoing superconductor smart grid projects:

AMSC is receiving $4.8 million in additional funding to develop a three-phase 138 kilovolt (kV) fault current limiter (FCL) using the company's 344 superconductors. This FCL will feature a proprietary Siemens-developed, low-inductance coil technology that makes the FCL invisible to the grid until it switches to a resistive state. AMSC is serving as project manager and wire supplier. The team also includes Southern California Edison, Siemens AG, Nexans and Los Alamos National Laboratory. In total, the DOE is providing nearly $8 million in funding for this project.

AMSC is receiving $7.6 million in additional funding for the second phase of its superconductor power cable project with Long Island Power Authority (LIPA). This will be a transmission voltage (138kV) extension of the superconductor cable system that was commissioned in LIPA's grid in April 2008. The extension utilizes AMSC's second generation (2G) high temperature superconductor (HTS) wire, branded as 344 superconductors. AMSC is serving as project manager and wire supplier, Nexans is the cable manufacturer and Air Liquide Advanced Technologies U.S. LLC is providing the cryogenics system. In total, the DOE is providing more than $12 million for this project.

"The Long Island Power Authority, the first utility in the world to commission an HTS power transmission cable system, commends the Department of Energy for funding Phase II of this critical project, which will allow us to expand the existing transmission line demonstration project to connect between two major substations on Long Island," said LIPA President and CEO Kevin S. Law. "Superconducting cables are a key ingredient in advancing smart grid technology that will help us fulfill our objective of continuing to provide safe, reliable, and efficient service to our customers. This award is the next step in demonstrating the value of superconductivity and we look forward to our continued work with American Superconductor and DOE on this important project."

AMSC's awards were part of a $47 million "smart grid demonstration" package announced yesterday by the DOE. According to the DOE announcement, "The $47 million in Recovery Act awards announced today will support existing projects that are advancing demonstration-scale smart grid technologies which will play an important role in modernizing the country's electricity grid." In addition to the $12 million in funding for AMSC's projects, an additional $8 million was awarded to another superconductor fault current limiter project.

"The Obama Administration has placed a high priority on smart grid technologies that enhance the efficiency and resiliency of our expanding power infrastructure," said Dan McGahn, Senior Vice President and General Manager of AMSC Superconductors. "This bodes well for the superconductor industry in general and American Superconductor in particular. Our DOE-funded programs will enable us to once again demonstrate the compelling power density and security advantages afforded by superconductor power cables and fault current limiters. We expect there will be a substantial global market opportunity for these smart grid technologies in the next decade."

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