American Superconductor Corporation (AMSC), an energy technologies company, has received an order from Southern California Edison Company (SCE), an Edison International company. The order is for AMSC’s pad-mounted smart grid Distribution Static VAR Compensator (dSVC) solution. SCE will use AMSC’s dSVC solution in its circuit of the future project. AMSC will supply the solution to SCE by summer 2009.

The new dSVC solution is a member of AMSC’s flexible AC transmission systems (FACTS) family.

Circuit of the future is a nationally-recognized project, which employs new technology to deliver power to 1,420 residential and business customers located in southern California’s Inland Empire.

The new dSVC solution produces the dynamic reactive power compensation to retain constant voltage and offers protection against the voltage sags and flicker. The new smart grid product allows utilities to affordably bring the SVC transmission-level quality of service to the distribution-level circuits for the first time, making it a key tool for modernizing the power grids worldwide. The new dSVC solution has the ability to dynamically adjust its output in the real time, and acts much faster than conventional capacitor banks and voltage regulators, mitigating the power quality issues that trouble area homes and can cost the commercial and industrial customers millions of dollars in lost productivity.

SCE offers the power to a total of 13 million people located in its 50,000 square-mile service territory. The utility is leading the initiatives in the three smart grid technology areas of transmission, distribution and customer metering. AMSC will offer SCE with customized SVC controls to be installed in its circuit of the future to offer enhanced voltage regulation for all of its retail electric customers while simultaneously delivering the major protection against major voltage sags.

“A spin-off from our larger-scale transmission SVC, our dSVC solution allows electric utilities to optimize power delivery directly at the grid’s critical load-serving points by automatically adjusting the reactive power supply in real time to meet their customers’ ever-changing electricity demands,” stated Timothy Poor, AMSC’s vice president of global sales and business development. “Made possible solely with AMSC’s unique thyristor valve design and proprietary controls technology, the product’s novel pad-mounted construction is a breakthrough in compact SVC design that allows this FACTS technology to be applied outside of substations in areas previously considered impractical, such as underground distribution circuits. We are pleased to have SCE as a first adopter of this unique technology.”

AMSC added the family of Static VAR Compensator (SVC) solutions to its product suite via the acquisition of Power Quality Systems, Inc. (PQS) in 2007. Combining PQS’s new thyristor switch technology with AMSC’s advanced controls technology created highly scalable SVC Smart Grid solution that is being used by electric utilities at both distribution and transmission voltages and also the industrial customers. Additionally to company’s new dSVC solution, AMSC provides turnkey transmission SVC solutions able to handle many hundred megaVAR of reactive compensation for the wide area transmission voltage stability; and also smaller SVC offerings for the industrial facilities that routinely operate large motors, metal shredders, crushers, pumps and pipelines.