American Superconductor reports success in North American sales of transmission reliability systems

WESTBOROUGH, Mass., March 19, 2003 — American Superconductor Corp., a electricity solutions company, and GE Industrial Systems, a business of the General Electric Co., has announced the sale of another advanced transmission reliability system based on AMSC’s power electronics technology.

The deal brings to 18 the total number of AMSC’s integrated power electronic systems on North American grids to increase their power reliability and capacity, more than any other power electronics vendor.

The latest transmission reliability system sale consists of a D-VARà¢â€ž- unit that will actively manage voltage levels on a 20-mile, 34.5 kV line operated by a major midwest utility serving more than a half-million industrial, commercial and residential customers in over 400 communities.

By constantly monitoring and responding to variations in voltage, the system ensures stable voltages and reliable flow of power. Normally used to increase reliability and power flow in transmission grids (while also benefiting surrounding distribution grids), this is the first time D-VAR technology is being applied to solve a distribution grid voltage issue directly rather than a transmission voltage problem.

Since the first units were installed in July 2000, transmission reliability systems based on AMSC’s Dynamic VAR (D-VAR) and Distributed Superconductor Magnetic Energy Storage (D-SMES) units have been deployed to maintain voltage levels on transmission and distribution lines while protecting against externally created voltage disturbances — such as power spikes or sags caused by the start up of large motors in nearby manufacturing facilities, by lightning strikes or other factors that disrupt the normal operation of a power grid.

Utility customers who have chosen dynamic transmission reliability systems from AMSC include Wisconsin Public Service, Alliant Energy, Entergy, TVA, PacifiCorp, BC Hydro, Rayburn Country Electric and Northeast Utilities.

“Our D-VAR integrated power electronic systems have proven to be highly effective, very dependable solutions for power grid operators who need to manage voltage stability and low voltage problems on their systems to improve reliability and increase power flow through their existing grids,” said Chuck Stankiewicz, vice president and general manager of AMSC’s Power Electronic Systems business unit. “Our transmission reliability systems offer a cost- effective way to quickly handle a wide range of voltage stability requirements. And the D-VAR units and ancillary equipment can be located on the grid at the exact point where they provide the maximum benefit.”

D-VAR units are typically housed in a mobile semi-trailer, and utilize AMSC’s proprietary PowerModuleà¢â€ž- power electronic converters to precisely regulate voltage and dynamic voltage stability problems that otherwise may result in blackouts and brownouts. D-SMES adds a 3-megajoule superconductor storage device to the D-VAR unit to provide instantaneous real power to supplement the reactive power from the power converters.

GE Industrial Systems has a long-term marketing and sales agreement with AMSC to furnish the company’s SMES and D-VAR systems to utilities and industrial customers. Additional details and technical specifications of transmission reliability systems based on D-VAR and D-SMES units may be found at

About GE Industrial Systems

GE Industrial Systems is a global provider of integrated industrial, electrical and security equipment, systems and services. The business brings to customers the latest technologies that are used to distribute, protect and control energy and equipment, and to provide premise management. GE provides product and service solutions for commercial, industrial, residential and utility customers. For more information visit the website at:

About American Superconductor Corp.

American Superconductor develops solutions and manufactures products to 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 more than 500 patents and licenses covering technologies.

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

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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

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