American Superconductor sells voltage regulation system to wind turbine manufacturer

WESTBOROUGH, Mass., Jan. 14, 2003 — American Superconductor Corp. Tuesday announced the sale of a 1 mega-VAR (MVAR) D-VARà¢â€ž- voltage regulation system to wind turbine manufacturer Nordex USA Inc.

This D-VAR system is one-eighth the power rating of the full-size D-VAR systems AMSC has sold during the last year. The new, lower-power rating system is specially designed to be used with individual wind turbines.

Nordex will deploy the D- VAR system at a 2.6 megawatt (MW) wind farm in Minot, ND to protect the local utility grid from voltage sags created when the wind turbines are initially energized — a solution required to enhance safe operation and to satisfy the unique dynamics of the local grid in the area.

Certain wind farms can be prone to voltage regulation problems because they are often located in remote areas, which typically can be weaker points in transmission grids. D-VAR systems with 1 to 8 MVAR continuous ratings, with instantaneous reactive power output up to 2.3 times the continuous rating, are designed to solve these voltage regulation problems.

“The American Wind Energy Association estimates 100,000 megawatts of electricity will be generated by wind farms by 2020,” said John Fedorko, president, Nordex USA.

“AMSC’s D-VAR voltage regulation system solves the voltage issues experienced by wind farm operators in weak grid areas and lets us address a wider market with our wind turbines. We are actually looking forward to installing AMSC’s system as a supplement to our standard thyristor/capacitor bank standard configurations. We see it as evidence that Nordex turbines can function in almost any type of grid environment. We are particularly pleased that AMSC’s technology is sophisticated enough to measure, and compensate for, voltage inrushes caused by stator energization as opposed to external weak grid conditions.”

Noted Charles Stankiewicz, vice president and general manager of AMSC’s Power Electronic Systems business unit: “Wind farms must meet the local utility’s requirement for voltage stability or they will be disconnected from the grid. Wind farm operators often need dynamic VAR compensation to ensure that their wind farms stay online. Our D-VAR dynamic voltage regulation system is a cost-effective and scalable solution that meets the VAR support needs for both small and large wind farms thereby maximizing their generating capacity and providing a higher return on their investment.”

The D-VAR voltage regulation system to be installed at the Minot wind farm constantly monitors the utility grid and, using AMSC’s PowerModuleà¢â€ž- power electronic converters, dynamically injects precise amounts of reactive power (measured in VARs for volt-amp-reactive) instantly upon demand — in this case, when the stators of the generators are initially energized. Capacitors are often used as an economical way to create VARs, but capacitors can only be switched in blocks of VARs. The Minot wind farm requires a solution that can dynamically vary its output in response to the VAR demand of the wind turbines — a requirement easily met by all D-VAR systems.

D-VAR voltage regulation systems are highly scalable solutions that can be configured to meet a wide range of customer requirements through variations in the operating software and in the number of PowerModule power electronic converters used in each configuration. To learn more about D-VAR and for customer contact information please see http://www.amsuper.com/utility.htm#dvar .

About Nordex

Nordex USA, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nordex AG of Hamburg, Germany, has been listed on the Neuer Markt segment of the Frankfurt stock exchange since April 2, 2001 (German securities code number 587 357). As a provider in the megawatt category, Nordex has benefited from the trend favoring development of large-scale wind-power turbines. Its range includes what is currently the world’s largest series wind turbine (N80/2,500 kW). With exports accounting for around 40 percent of its business, Nordex AG plays a key role in international high-growth regions. The company has offices and subsidiaries in 18 countries around the world.

About American Superconductor

American Superconductor Corporation is a specialist in developing and manufacturing products using superconductor wires and power electronic converters for the electric power infrastructure. American Superconductor’s products, and those sold by electrical equipment manufacturers that incorporate its products, can dramatically increase the bandwidth and reliability of power delivery grids, reduce manufacturing and operating costs, and conserve resources used to produce electric power. Founded in 1987, the company is headquartered in Westborough, Mass. For more information, visit http://www.amsuper.com.


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