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December 3, 2018

AMSC to supply its superconductor technology for electric grid in Chicago

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AMSC’s former largest customer, China’s Sinovel Wind Group Co. Ltd. (Sinovel) has agreed to pay it \(57.5 million in two installments to settle a dispute over stealing its technology. It was also fined \)1.5 million by a federal judge on July 9, concluding a key stage in a long-fought case of IT theft that stems back as far as 2011.

U.S.-based AMSC reports that it has entered into an agreement with ComEd, which delivers electricity to more than four million customers in northern Illinois, to deploy its high-temperature superconductor technology for use in an upgrade to its electric grid in Chicago.

A press release said that the project is funded, in part, by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate initiative to secure the nation’s electric grid against extreme weather or other catastrophic events. It is structured as a cost-sharing arrangement among AMSC, ComEd and DHS. The agreement, which includes commercial terms and is subject to DHS approval, will mark the first installation of AMSC’s Resilient Electric Grid (REG) system in Chicago, and it is expected to become a permanent part of Chicago’s power grid.

The REG system uses AMSC’s high temperature superconductor technology and, under the terms of the agreement between AMSC and ComEd, will link existing electric power infrastructure within the city, the release said. The key component is AMSC’s Amperium® wire, which it noted combines with other sub-system design elements to increase the reliability, redundancy, and resiliency of urban power grids, greatly reducing the impact of equipment failure due to aging, cyber threats, physical disasters, or weather-related events.

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