Nexans to manufacture superconductor cable for US Department of Energy's $30 million project on Long Island
American Superconductor Heading World's First Superconductor Cable Installation in Live Transmission Grid
Paris, April 23, 2003 - Nexans has been awarded the contract to manufacture the cable and cryogenic insulation system for the US Department of Energy's (DOE) $30 million high temperature superconductor (HTS) power transmission cable project in the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) transmission grid. The 610 meter segment will be the world's first installation of a superconductor cable in a live transmission grid.
Nexans will fabricate the superconductor cable using HTS wire manufactured by American Superconductor (AMSC), a leading electricity solutions company. AMSC has been selected by the US DOE as prime contractor for this project. A Nexans CRYOFLEX® vacuum-insulated flexible cryogenic envelope will provide the thermal insulation required to maintain the cable core at its operating temperature of about -200°C. Air Liquide will provide refrigeration equipment and oversee operation of the cryogenic cooling system.
The 610 meter transmission circuit, capable of powering 300,000 homes, will be located underground in an existing right of way. With a capacity of 600 MW, the 138 kV superconductor cable system will be an integral part of the LIPA grid and is expected to be installed and operating by the end of 2005.
Yvon Raak, President of Nexans' Energy Division, said: "We are delighted to be participating in this important project. The growth opportunities for superconductor cables are enormous and this reinforces our position as a key participant in the market."
Using existing rights of way
A high temperature superconducting (HTS) cable can carry several times more current than a conventional copper cable with the same cross section. The current flows through HTS wires which exhibit a zero resistance when cooled with liquid nitrogen at about -200°C. Superconductor cables can be installed in existing rights of way - helping reduce the cost and environmental impact of grid upgrades.
Michael Hervey, Director of Transmission and Distribution for LIPA said: "Siting new transmission lines has become a formidable challenge in congested areas such as Long Island. Superconductor cables can transmit substantially more power than conventional cables in the same right of way, which will help us to continue meeting our customers' growing demands for electricity. This technology is a powerful new tool for relieving grid constraints reliably and unobtrusively."
After an initial operational period, LIPA plans to retain the new superconductor cable as a permanent part of its grid following performance and economic reviews of the cable system. LIPA and American Superconductor have also discussed plans to install high capacity, low-environmental-impact HTS cables elsewhere in the LIPA grid to address the growing electric power needs on Long Island.
Greg Yurek, Chief Executive of American Superconductor, said: "Superconductor wires have come of age and are being incorporated in many new large-scale electrical applications including motors, generators and power cables. Our LIPA project is one of three new superconductor cable projects being started in the U.S. this year with DOE support and one of a total of 10 HTS cable projects worldwide. We believe we are well positioned, based on our wire performance and pricing, to be the wire supplier of choice for all three U.S. projects as well as for those being developed outside the U.S."
The LIPA superconductor cable is an industry-government partnership. The LIPA superconductor cable is a cost-shared, industry-government partnership in which DOE will provide approximately $15 million of the $30 million cost of the project. The balance of the project costs will be borne by the industrial partners.
(more information available at www.eere.energy.gov/superconductivity )
Spencer Abraham, U.S. Secretary of Energy, said: "This work will help provide solutions to power quality and electric reliability problems, bringing the benefits of superconductivity more quickly to the U.S. electrical industry and the American people. Highly visible public-private partnerships such as this will encourage industry to develop and test prototype equipment for the U.S. electric power system and expand the Department's research and development of superconductivity to support the President's National Energy Plan"
Nexans is the worldwide leader in the cable industry. The Group brings an extensive range of advanced copper and optical fiber cable solutions to the infrastructure, industry and building markets. Nexans cables and cabling systems can be found in every area of people's lives, from telecommunications and energy networks, to aeronautics, aerospace, automobile, railways, building, petrochemical, medical applications, etc. The program is completed by superconducting materials and components, cryoflex transfer systems and special machinery for the cable industry. With an industrial presence in 28 countries and commercial activities in 65 countries, Nexans employs 17,150 people and had sales in 2002 of euros 4.3 billion. Nexans is listed on the Paris stock exchange. More information on http://www.nexans.com
The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) owns the electric transmission and distribution system on Long Island and provides electric service to nearly 1.1 million customers in Nassau and Suffolk counties, and the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens. In terms of customers served, LIPA is the third largest municipal electric utility in the nation.
About American Superconductor Corporation (NASDAQ:AMSC)
American Superconductor develops solutions and manufactures products to dramatically 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 fundamental to Revolutionizing the Way the World Uses Electricity'. 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.