AMSC to Provide Wire for Fault Current Limiter in Europe's Largest Superconductor Grid Project
SAN DIEGO, Jan. 29, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- AMSC (Nasdaq:AMSC), a global solutions provider serving wind and power grid industry leaders, today announced at DistribuTECH an order from Nexans, a worldwide expert in the cable industry, for high temperature superconductor (HTS) wire to be used in a superconductor fault current limiter (SFCL). The SFCL will act as a surge protector at "AmpaCity," a project being undertaken by Nexans, RWE Group, one of Europe's leading electricity and gas companies, and the German research institute KIT. AmpaCity aims to replace inner-city high-voltage equipment with superconductor systems.
Medium voltage superconductor systems uniquely provide an alternative to conventional high voltage installations. The SFCL will provide overload protection to a superconductor cable, lowering the fault current levels, and allowing for a safe and reliable interconnection to the grid. The complete HTS system, comprising of a cable and SFCL, will be manufactured by Nexans. The SFCL will employ AMSC's Amperium® superconductor wire.
"The AmpaCity project is laying the groundwork for modern inner-city electricity distribution," said Jean-Maxime Saugrain, Nexans Corporate Vice President Technical. "The fault current limiter is an important part of the complete system, and we are happy to utilize AMSC wire for it."
Superconductor fault current limiters act as surge protectors for power grids. As electricity demand and generation are steadily growing and power grids are becoming more interconnected, the magnitude of fault currents on power grids is increasing significantly. By lowering the fault current levels, SFCLs enable utilities to defer or eliminate equipment replacement, increase equipment life and enhance system operation.
"AMSC is proud to act as a supplier to Nexans on the landmark AmpaCity project," said Daniel P. McGahn, President and CEO, AMSC.
Nexans and AMSC recently announced a cooperation to bring the same medium-voltage SFCLs to the North American market. The resistive SFCL is a fast and self-acting system that limits currents to safe, manageable values. The system is passive, typically sitting idle and "invisible" to the grid, but can sense and then suppress fault currents when they occur, sparing transformers, switchgear and other equipment from damage and protecting the broader power grid. Its ability to sit passively eliminates the losses associated with normal power flow along with many other constraints that are encountered with conventional solutions.
AMSC's Amperium superconductor wire is able to conduct approximately 200 times the electrical current of copper wire of similar dimensions. This wire is being used in numerous high-power applications, including SFCLs, power cables, motors and generators.
AMSC will be showcasing the SFCL at booth #3348 at DistribuTECH at the San Diego Convention Center January 29-31, 2013.
AMSC generates the ideas, technologies and solutions that meet the world's demand for smarter, cleaner … better energy. Through its Windtec™ Solutions, AMSC provides wind turbine electronic controls and systems, designs and engineering services that reduce the cost of wind energy. Through its Gridtec Solutions, AMSC provides the engineering planning services and advanced grid systems that optimize network reliability, efficiency and performance. The company's solutions are now powering gigawatts of renewable energy globally and enhancing the performance and reliability of power networks in more than a dozen countries. Founded in 1987, AMSC is headquartered near Boston, Massachusetts with operations in Asia, Australia, Europe and North America. For more information, please visit www.amsc.com.
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AMSC, Windtec, Gridtec and Amperium are trademarks or registered trademarks of American Superconductor Corporation. All other brand names, product names, trademarks or service marks belong to their respective holders.
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Such factors include: Our success in addressing the wind energy market is dependent on the manufacturers that license our designs; we may not realize all of the sales expected from our backlog of orders and contracts; our business and operations would be adversely impacted in the event of a failure or security breach of our information technology infrastructure; our success is dependent upon attracting and retaining qualified personnel and our inability to do so could significantly damage our business and prospects; we rely upon third-party suppliers for the components and subassemblies of many of our Wind and Grid products, making us vulnerable to supply shortages and price fluctuations, which could harm our business; many of our revenue opportunities are dependent upon subcontractors and other business collaborators; if we fail to implement our business strategy successfully, our financial performance could be harmed; problems with product quality or product performance may cause us to incur warranty expenses and may damage our market reputation and prevent us from achieving increased sales and market share; our contracts with the United States government are subject to audit, modification or termination by the United States government and include certain other provisions in favor of the government; the continued funding of such contracts remains subject to annual congressional appropriation which, if not approved, could reduce our revenue and lower or eliminate our profit; we may acquire additional complementary businesses or technologies, which may require us to incur substantial costs for which we may never realize the anticipated benefits; many of our customers outside of the United States are, either directly or indirectly, related to governmental entities, and we could be adversely affected by violations of the United States Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and similar worldwide anti-bribery laws outside the United States; we have limited experience in marketing and selling our superconductor products and system-level solutions, and our failure to effectively market and sell our products and solutions could lower our revenue and cash flow; we have a history of operating losses, and we may incur additional losses in the future; our operating results may fluctuate significantly from quarter to quarter and may fall below expectations in any particular fiscal quarter; we may require additional funding in the future and may be unable to raise capital when needed; our new debt obligations include certain covenants and other events of default. Should we not comply with the covenants or incur an event of default, we may be required to repay our debt obligations in cash, which could have an adverse effect on our liquidity; we have recorded a liability for adverse purchase commitments with certain of our vendors; should we be required to settle these liabilities in cash, our liquidity could be adversely affected; if we fail to maintain proper and effective internal controls over financial reporting, our ability to produce accurate and timely financial statements could be impaired and may lead investors and other users to lose confidence in our financial data; we may be required to issue performance bonds or provide letters of credit, which restricts our ability to access any cash used as collateral for the bonds or letters of credit; changes in exchange rates could adversely affect our results from operations; growth of the wind energy market depends largely on the availability and size of government subsidies and economic incentives; we depend on sales to customers in China, and global conditions could negatively affect our operating results or limit our ability to expand our operations outside of China; changes in China's political, social, regulatory and economic environment may affect our financial performance; our products face intense competition, which could limit our ability to acquire or retain customers; our international operations are subject to risks that we do not face in the United States, which could have an adverse effect on our operating results; adverse changes in domestic and global economic conditions could adversely affect our operating results; we may be unable to adequately prevent disclosure of trade secrets and other proprietary information; our patents may not provide meaningful protection for our technology, which could result in us losing some or all of our market position; the commercial uses of superconductor products are limited today, and a widespread commercial market for our products may not develop; there are a number of technological challenges that must be successfully addressed before our superconductor products can gain widespread commercial acceptance, and our inability to address such technological challenges could adversely affect our ability to acquire customers for our products; we have not manufactured our Amperium wire in commercial quantities, and a failure to manufacture our Amperium wire in commercial quantities at acceptable cost and quality levels would substantially limit our future revenue and profit potential; third parties have or may acquire patents that cover the materials, processes and technologies we use or may use in the future to manufacture our Amperium products, and our success depends on our ability to license such patents or other proprietary rights; our technology and products could infringe intellectual property rights of others, which may require costly litigation and, if we are not successful, could cause us to pay substantial damages and disrupt our business; we have filed a demand for arbitration and other lawsuits against our former largest customer, Sinovel, regarding amounts we contend are overdue. 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These and the important factors discussed under the caption "Risk Factors" in Part II. Item 1A and Part 1. Item 1A of our Form 10-K/A for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2012, among others, could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by forward-looking statements made herein and presented elsewhere by management from time to time. Any such forward-looking statements represent management's estimates as of the date of this press release. While we may elect to update such forward-looking statements at some point in the future, we disclaim any obligation to do so, even if subsequent events cause our views to change. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing our views as of any date subsequent to the date of this press release.
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