General Electric Co. recently selected American Superconductor Corp., a global supplier of superconductor products and power electronic switches for the power infrastructure based in Westborough, Mass., as the primary supplier of high temperature superconductor (HTS) wire for development of the world's first 100MW HTS generator. The HTS generator project, valued at $26 million, is one of seven projects that are part of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Superconductivity Partnership Initiative (SPI) program.

Electric utility generators typically produce power in the range of 100MW to 1,200MW. GE believes its HTS generator will provide a breakthrough in high-efficiency generators, creating the potential for annual energy savings of several billion kilowatt hours that could translate into millions of dollars in energy savings, reduced emissions, and enhanced competitiveness of U.S. utilities in growing global markets.

Recent progress made by American Superconductor in HTS wire manufacturing has helped pave the way for the development of HTS generators with the potential for competitive cost, high reliability, rapid market introduction, and a high probability of acceptance by the power industry.

"Utility generators, industrial ship propulsion motors, and power cables represent a huge market opportunity for our HTS wires," said Greg Yurek, president and chief executive officer of American Superconductor. "The demand for HTS wires for utility generators alone could exceed the annual capacity of our new HTS wire manufacturing plant, the first commercial HTS wire manufacturing plant in the world."

The GE HTS generator is the second DOE-SPI project for which American Superconductor will be providing its high-performance HTS wire. The company announced on September 26, 2001, that it would supply Pirelli Power Cables and Systems with HTS wire for a half-mile-long, underground cable to be installed in Long Island Power Authority's transmission grid on Long Island, N.Y.

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