American Superconductor receives order for two D-VAR® voltage control systems for large North American wind farm

WESTBOROUGH, Mass., May 25 (PRNewswire) — American Superconductor Corporation an lectricity solutions company, announced the sale of two dynamic voltage control systems to a large North American wind farm. The two D-VAR units will mitigate voltage disturbances in the transmission grid while compensating for natural voltage fluctuations commonly caused by induction-type wind generators. This D-VAR system will be the world’s first application of substation-based FACTS (Flexible Alternating Current Transmission System) technology that enables an entire wind farm to ride-through grid voltage disturbances.

“D-VAR systems constantly monitor voltage at the point where the wind turbines are coupled to the transmission grid,” said Bud Kehrli, head of transmission planning for AMSC. “Instead of the voltage varying greatly as the wind fluctuates, the D-VAR units dynamically inject precise amounts of reactive power, thereby regulating the voltage of the transmission grid to the desired level.”

In addition, the local transmission grid owner required that the wind farm be equipped with Low Voltage Ride Through capability (LVRT) to prevent sudden voltage sags that normally occur on the transmission grid from “tripping” the wind farm and taking it offline. “By adding this LVRT capability, the D-VAR technology significantly mitigates the effect of voltage sags and low voltage
and keeps the wind farm up and operating,” said Kehrli. “While LVRT may be less important for small- to medium-sized wind farms, as wind farms become larger LVRT and the ability to keep wind generation on-line is very important to grid operators. In this installation, the D-VAR systems will play a dual role, protecting both the wind farm and the transmission grid it supplies.”

Sale of these units represents the fifth wind farm in North America, and the sixth worldwide, within the last two years to employ AMSC’s proprietary voltage control technology for optimally interconnecting wind turbines to the power grid.

The solution to be installed consists of two D-VAR devices, each rated for 8 MVA continuous and 24 MVA overload along with switched shunt capacitor banks that are controlled by the D-VAR system. Financial details of the sale were not disclosed. The D-VAR systems are scheduled to be in service by the end of 2004.

About American Superconductor Corporation

AMSC is a supplier of dynamic reactive power grid stabilization products and the world’s principal vendor of high temperature superconductor (HTS) wire and large rotating superconductor machinery. AMSC’s power electronic converters and HTS wire are at the core of a broad range of new electricity transmission and distribution, transportation, medical and industrial processing applications, including dynamic reactive power grid stabilization solutions, large ship propulsion motors and generators, smart, controllable, superconductor power cables and advanced defense systems.

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