American Superconductor Announces Order from Alliant Energy for DSMES Unit

March 30, 2000 by Jeff Shepard

American Superconductor Corp. (West-borough, MA) announced an order from Alliant Energy Corp. (Madison, WI) for a Distributed Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage (DSMES) unit. This DSMES unit will be used to improve the reliability on a portion of Alliant Energy's power transmission grid in Wisconsin, and is scheduled for installation this summer.

The DSMES product stores electricity from the power grid in a coil of superconducting wire. When distributed at substations throughout a power grid, these units act as virtual generators, ready to inject power back into the grid instantaneously to maintain reliability when power fluctuates, (for example, during lightning storms). The DSMES unit for Alliant Energy will have an instantaneous real-power output of 3MW, along with 14MVAR of instantaneous reactive power output. A typical industrial emergency back-up generator has a real-power output of 1MW.

"This distributed-power technology offering has wide applicability within the evolving utility environment because it allows utilities to defer construction of overhead power lines while improving system reliability and increasing power transfer capability," stated Greg Yurek, president and CEO of American Superconductor. "Being not only a distributed resource but also one that is mobile makes DSMES the quickest, lowest-cost and most-effective solution for power reliability and capacity needs."