Advanced power electronics-based solution to be used in transmission of power for Illinois wind farm

WESTBOROUGH, Mass., Sept. 18, 2003 — American Superconductor Corp. announced that AMSC’s D-VAR® (Dynamic Volt-Ampere-Reactive) transmission grid reliability system will be used by wind farm developer Mendota Hills, LLC.

The system will provide reactive power support and regulate voltage at a wind farm located approximately 100 miles west of Chicago. AMSC’s D-VAR system will enable the wind farm to meet the standards required for interconnection to Commonwealth Edison’s electrical power grid in Illinois.

“The Mendota Hills wind farm is an important source of electricity for northern Illinois,” said Gabriel Alonso, President of Mendota Hills, LLC. “American Superconductor’s D-VAR system is the wind farm and transmission grid reactive power solution that we have selected to ensure that electricity produced by the wind farm is delivered in full compliance with regional grid standards and requirements.”

American Superconductor’s solution will be located at the wind farm site in Lee County, Illinois. It includes a 4 MegaVAR (MVAR) D-VAR system and two capacitor banks controlled by the D-VAR system. The wind farm’s turbines are expected to generate about 50 megawatts of electric power, enough to supply more than 12,500 homes in North-Central Illinois. According to the European Wind Energy Association, global wind power generation is expected to grow more than 640% from 31,000 MW in 2002 to 230,000 MW by 2010.

Wind farms are an important source of renewable electrical power and can require additional dynamic reactive power compensation in order to meet the interconnection requirements of grid owners. AMSC’s D-VAR systems provide dynamic reactive power compensation and are effective, economic, and flexible solutions that enable wind farms to seamlessly interconnect to the transmission grid.

“Wind power is one of the fastest-growing sources of new electricity generation,” said Chuck Stankiewicz, vice president and general manager of the Power Electronic Systems business unit at American Superconductor. “Our D-VAR systems use state-of-the-art power electronics to detect and correct voltage fluctuations immediately, making wind power a more reliable generating source for the grid.”

About AMSC’s D-VAR Transmission Reliability Solutions

AMSC’s D-VAR systems help ensure grid reliability and voltage stability by providing dynamic reactive power support. Reactive power, which is measured in VARS (volt-ampere-reactive), is the component of electricity necessary for the transmission of “real power,” which is measured in watts, and is the industry term for the kilowatt hours of electrical energy used by homes and businesses.

D-VAR systems are installed in existing electrical substations, as well as at wind farm grid interconnection points where they continuously monitor voltage, and provide real time reactive power support and power factor correction. By dynamically responding in milliseconds, D-VAR systems stabilize grid voltage, and can instantaneously correct voltage stability problems.

This not only improves reliability, but in some applications can also significantly increase the power throughput of existing transmission infrastructure. Featuring advanced power electronics, D-VAR systems can be quickly and cost- effectively deployed and offer an active grid voltage management solution of great flexibility, scalability and high power density.

AMSC has installed more power electronics-based grid solutions than any other company. Customers of AMSC’s transmission reliability systems include many large utilities such as Alliant Energy, BC Hydro, Entergy, Northeast Utilities, PacifiCorp, Tennessee Valley Authority, Rayburn Country Electric Cooperative and Wisconsin Public Service. For more information about AMSC transmission reliability systems, please visit www.amsuper.com/html/products/transmissionGrid/index.html.

About American Superconductor Corporation (Nasdaq: AMSC)

American Superconductor develops solutions and manufactures products to dramatically improve the cost, efficiency and reliability of systems that generate, deliver and use electric power. The company has a vertically integrated portfolio of products supported by hundreds of patents and licenses covering technologies fundamental to Revolutionizing the Way the World Uses Electricityà¢â€ž-. Products from AMSC include High Temperature Superconductor wire for electric power, transportation, medical and industrial processing applications; HTS motors and generators for ship propulsion; and advanced power electronic systems that ensure the quality and reliability of electricity for residential, commercial and industrial customers. More information is available at http://www.amsuper.com.


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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com.

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