American Superconductor Corporation (NASDAQ: AMSC), a leading energy technologies company, announced that it has received its first order for a D-VAR system to meet dynamic reactive compensation requirements for a 220 kilovolt (kV) power transmission grid in Chifeng, Inner Mongolia, China. Reactive power compensation is necessary to stabilize voltage, relieve power grid congestion, improve electrical efficiency, and prevent blackouts in power grids.
Beijing SNTA Electric Power Technique Company, Ltd. (SNTA), which has ordered the 16 MegaVAR D-VAR system, is AMSC’s first channel partner for the Chinese power grid market. SNTA will install the D-VAR system in the 220kV Xijiao substation, which is located in Chifeng and is operated by North East Power Grid (NEPG).SNTA is one of China’s primary suppliers of low- and high-voltage reactive compensation products and turnkey power grid solutions.
The Xijiao substation is connected to seven wind farms that produce a combined 600 megawatts (MW) of power. The China Electric Power Research Institute, which is a part of China’s State Grid Corporation and is responsible for transmission engineering, has determined that additional voltage support is required at the Chifeng Xijiao substation to maintain reliable operation of the power grid served by this substation and enable secure transmission of wind-generated electricity to load centers.
The contract between AMSC and SNTA was signed on December 31, 2008 in a ceremony at SNTA headquarters in Beijing. AMSC expects to deliver the D-VAR system to SNTA by mid 2009.
According to the International Energy Agency, China’s power grid will require approximately US$1.5 trillion in investments by 2030.
“As China builds out and upgrades its power grid to meet the demands of its rapidly growing economy, it is seeking cutting-edge energy technologies that will meet these demands rapidly and in the most effective way possible,” said Greg Yurek, founder and Chief Executive Officer of AMSC. “Our solutions meet these requirements, and we expect strong growth in the Chinese power grid market for many years to come.”
D-VAR reactive compensation systems are classified as Static Compensators, or “STATCOMs,” a member of the FACTS (Flexible AC-Transmission System) family of power electronic solutions for alternating current (AC) power grids. They are able to detect and instantaneously compensate for voltage disturbances by dynamically injecting leading or lagging reactive power into the power grid. AMSC has received orders for over 60 STATCOM power grid solutions worldwide, more than all other manufacturers combined. The company’s STATCOM customers include more than 20 electric utilities and 40 wind farms.