PROJECT | Cesar Tordesillas, Korea

Superconductor cables readied for Korea’s power grids

American Superconductor Corporation has expanded its superconductor power cable strategic business alliance with LS Alliance. Under the new agreement, the two companies will work collaboratively to deploy more than 50 kilometers 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 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 Corporation 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 alternating current and direct current systems. Superconductor power cable systems manufactured by LS Cable will utilise AMSC’s proprietary second generation high temperature superconductor 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."

In April 2009, AMSC received its first commercial order from LS Cable for approximately 80,000 meters of its 344 superconductors to manufacture a 22.9 kV cable system that will be installed in KEPCO's Icheon substation near the city of Seoul later in 2010. Capable of carrying 50 megawatts of power, the cable system will be nearly a half mile in length, making it the world’s longest distribution-voltage superconductor cable system.

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 utilising various technologies to realise our vision for a ‘Smart Green Utopia.’ Chief among these is superconductor power cables. We look forward to energising 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."

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