WESTBOROUGH, MA, Sept. 20, 2000 à‚– American Superconductor Corp. and GE Industrial Systems, a business of General Electric Co. have received their first order for a D-SMES system from Entergy Corp. The Distributed Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage (D-SMES) system will be deployed in an Entergy power grid in Texas in early 2001.
American Superconductor and GE formed a strategic alliance in April 2000 to market and sell D-SMES systems as a co-branded product offering to U.S. utilities to improve power grid reliability.
SMES is American Superconductor’s patented means of storing large quantities of electricity in a superconducting electromagnetic coil until needed as an electric power supplement. Combined with proprietary power electronic devices known as inverters, the SMES storage unit becomes an active device for instantaneously solving power reliability and quality problems at the transmission grid level or at individual industrial or data center sites.
SMES components are housed in a semi-tractor trailer and attached to transformers at utility substations at strategic locations within a power grid (D-SMES configuration) or installed as an interface between a utility power supply and an industrial or commercial power user to improve power quality (PQ-SMES configuration). When a voltage drop is detected by the unit’s power electronics, SMES instantaneously injects precise amounts of both real and reactive power into the system it is protecting, thereby keeping voltage levels stable.
“We analyzed many different solutions to meet our load growth and improve reliability in the region,” said Sharma Kolluri, supervisor, technical studies group, technical system planning – transmission. “The D-SMES system offered by GE and American Superconductor clearly was the lowest-cost, most effective and quickest solution available to meet our needs.”
Entergy is evaluating additional D-SMES units in the near term to meet its needs for increasing reliability and enhancing power flows through its growing power delivery system. Entergy operates a system composed of 15,500 miles of high voltage transmission lines and 1,450 transmission substations.
“Entergy has once again demonstrated its leadership in bringing leading-edge solutions to meet the needs of its customers,” said Greg Yurek, American Superconductor CEO. “We are impressed with their thoroughness and aggressiveness in seeking to provide immediate solutions for today’s challenges, and to create an even more reliable power delivery system for the future.”