AMSC and LS Cable Expand Superconductor Power Cable Strategic Alliance

March 24, 2010 by Jeff Shepard

American Superconductor Corp. (AMSC) and LS Cable Ltd. (LS Cable) announced that they have expanded their superconductor power cable strategic business alliance. Under the new agreement, LS Cable and AMSC will work collaboratively to deploy more than 50 kilometers (km) (31 miles) of superconductor power cables in commercial power grids over the next five years. The original alliance, established in September 2009, called for the deployment of a minimum of 10 km (6.2 miles) of superconductor power cables during that same period.

The agreement was reached at a meeting in Devens, Massachusetts attended by LS Cable President and Chief Executive Officer Jongho Son and AMSC President and Chief Operating Officer Dan McGahn. Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) Vice President J.W. Chang was present to witness the signing. KEPCO is South Korea’s only power distributor. The strategic alliance focuses on the full spectrum of superconductor cable projects, including distribution and transmission voltages as well as ac and dc systems.

Superconductor power cable systems manufactured by LS Cable will utilize AMSC’s proprietary second generation (2G) high temperature superconductor (HTS) wire, branded as 344 superconductors.

"LS Cable is focused on developing and implementing world-class technologies to both meet the evolving energy needs of today’s economy and provide the infrastructure necessary to support tomorrow’s growth," said LS Cable’s Jongho Son. "Superconductor cables offer unique power density, efficiency and security advantages compared to conventional power cables and will play a key role in providing the necessary backbone to support the Smart Grid in Korea and locations around the world. We are pleased to expand this important strategic alliance with AMSC."

Power cables made with AMSC’s HTS wire can conduct up to 10 times the amount of power of conventional cables, which are made with copper wire. They can be placed strategically in the power grid to draw flow from overtaxed conventional cables or overhead lines to mitigate grid congestion experienced in urban centers. They also automatically suppress dangerous power surges to create resilient, ’self-healing’ Smart Grids that can survive attacks and natural disasters, making them an ideal modernization tool for metropolitan power grids.

"LS Cable, which is one of the world’s leading and most innovative power cable manufacturing firms, continues to demonstrate its commitment to advancing the commercialization of superconductor cables as a best-in-class solution to meeting the growing and evolving power demands of the 21st Century," said Dan McGahn of AMSC. "Our companies share this common vision and see tremendous opportunities for commercial deployments of transmission and distribution superconductor cable systems around the world."

J.W. Chang of KEPCO said, "KEPCO has embarked on an ambitious plan to make Korea’s power grid the world’s cleanest and most efficient. We are utilizing various technologies to realize our vision for a ’Smart Green Utopia.’ Chief among these is superconductor power cables. We look forward to energizing the first of these cables in our power grid later this year and to beginning our commercial adoption phase in 2012 with the assistance of LS Cable and AMSC."