American Superconductor Corporation (AMSC) has received an order for a large-scale dynamic reactive compensation solution from National Grid. AMSC will install its D-VAR STATCOM solution on eastern Long Island for the continued reliability of the local power grid. These Smart Grid solutions will detect and instantaneously compensate for voltage disturbances by dynamically injecting leading or lagging reactive power into the power grid.

Reactive power compensation is required to stabilize voltage, relieve power grid congestion, improve electrical efficiency, and prevent blackouts in power grids.

D-VAR dynamic reactive compensation systems are classified as static compensators, or STATCOMs, a member of the Flexible AC-Transmission System family of power electronic solutions for alternating current (AC) power grids. AMSC has received orders for more than 60 STATCOM power grid solutions worldwide, over all other manufacturers. The D-VAR STATCOM customers include over 20 electric utilities and 40 wind farms.

The total dynamic range of reactive compensation provided by this transmission grid solution will be -96 to +240 mega-volt-amperes reactive (MVAR). AMSC will provide a full turnkey solution, including installation and ongoing maintenance and support for LIPA. The contract calls for commissioning of the reactive compensation solution by mid 2010. It will include a 36 MVAR base-rated D-VAR STATCOM – one of the largest STATCOM’s ever deployed in North America – seamlessly integrated with capacitor banks.

In April 2008, the company has commissioned high temperature superconductor (HTS) power transmission cable system in LIPA’s commercial power grid. The 138,000 volt (138 kV) power cable system is operating in LIPA’s Holbrook transmission right of way. It contains hair-thin HTS wires that conduct 150 times the electricity of similar sized copper wires, enabling the cable system to utilize far less wire and yet conduct around five times more power in a smaller right of way – than traditional copper-based cables.

Long Island Power Authority is supplying more power to its residential and commercial customers each year, said Long Island Power Authority president and chief executive officer Kevin S Law. In order to continue providing reliable, high quality power, we needed a solution to stabilize voltage during times of peak demand, particularly over the summer months when Long Island’s population is at its highest.

LIPA has one of the most reliable power grids in the US, said AMSC founder and chief executive officer Greg Yurek. By deploying this D-VAR STATCOM solution, LIPA will continue its tradition of utilizing the latest technologies to meet and exceed its customers’ demands for reliable, digital-grade power.