American Superconductor D-VARs Ordered for Australian Wind Farm

January 17, 2006 by Jeff Shepard

American Superconductor Corp. (AMSC) has received an order for two D-VAR® voltage regulation systems from Lake Bonney Wind Power Pty Ltd. (LBWP), through its operator, National Power Company, an independent renewable energy project developer based in San Francisco and Sydney.

The D-VAR systems will be installed in two phases at the Lake Bonney II wind project located near Millicent, South Australia in Australia. The D-VAR systems will provide dynamic and steady state voltage support required by Australian grid interconnection standards.

Phase one of the wind project, which is the first in Australia for AMSC, includes 45 megawatts (MW) of wind generation and an associated 12 megaVAR (MVAR) D-VAR solution. Phase two will add an additional 114 MW of wind generation and another 12 MVAR D-VAR solution. AMSC is expected to ship the D-VAR systems in June and December of this year. Phase one energization is expected in November or December, 2006 and phase two energization is expected in April - May, 2007.

"LBWP chose American Superconductor's dynamic voltage regulation solution in order to comply with interconnection requirements established by the Essential Services Commission of South Australia (ESCOSA) and the (National Electricity Market Management Company) NEMMCO for the Lake Bonney II wind power project," noted Tim Flato, a partner at National Power. "The interconnection standards require dynamic voltage regulation and control, and the wind farm must alsohave the ability to ride through high voltage situations. We chose the AMSC D-VAR voltage regulation system because of its proven performance at similar wind farms around the world."

Australia ranks among the leaders in the world with approximately a 35% forecasted growth rate. The Australian Wind Energy Association indicates that Australia has 572 MW of installed wind energy and 5,914 additional proposed wind energy projects.

"With this increasing demand for wind energy, electric industry regulators are increasingly mandating strict grid interconnection standards for wind farms. Countries such as Australia, Spain, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States have recently established criteria requiring dynamic voltage control and we anticipate other countries will soon follow," said Greg Yurek, CEO of AMSC. "Our unique D-VAR voltage regulation system has become the industry product of choice for helping wind facilities meet these new grid interconnection standards."

Overall, this is the 12th wind farm worldwide to incorporate AMSC's advanced D-VAR dynamic voltage control technologies. These projects bring the total wind-generated electric power served by AMSC's D-VAR systems to more than 1000 MW.