DOE funds for superconductor smart grid projects

Devens, Mass., July 21, 2009 – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) provided American Superconductor Corp. more than $12 million in funding under the Recovery Act to complete superconductor smart grid projects.

AMSC, an energy technologies company, 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 high temperature superconductor 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.

AMSC’s awards were part of a $47 million “smart grid demonstration” package announced yesterday by the DOE. According to the DOE announcement, 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.

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