Intermagnetics Announces $13 Million US DOE Funding Toward Albany HTS Cable Project

Intermagnetics Announces $13 Million US DOE Funding Toward Albany HTS Cable Project
07/14/2003

 

Intermagnetics Announces US Department of Energy Funding of $13 Million Toward HTS Cable Project in Albany, New York

  • New York energy Research and Development Authority Also Providing $6 Million in Funding
  • Intermagnetics and Strategic Partner, Sumitomo Electric, to Equally Share Remaining $7 Million of $26 Million Total Project Cost
  • Scheduled to be First Project to Include Commerically Viable Second-Generation Conductor
  • Project Designed to Demonstrate Increased Efficiency, Environmental Benefits of Superconductors for Electrical Transmission, Distribution

Latham, NY - Intermagnetics General Corporation (Nasdaq: IMGC) today announced that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will contribute $13 million toward the $26 million cost of a project designed to demonstrate technical and commercial viability of high-temperature superconductors (HTS) in an in-grid electric utility setting. Intermagnetics’ Energy Technology subsidiary, SuperPower, Inc., will lead the previously announced project as part of the DOE’s Superconductivity Partnership Initiative program.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) previously committed an additional $6 million to the project. Intermagnetics and its major partner for the project, Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd., will equally share the remaining $7 million project cost. The 350-meter underground cable will be installed between two substations in the Albany, New York distribution system operated by Niagara Mohawk, a National Grid company. Southern California Edison will participate in an advisory capacity.

“Our growing economy depends on reliable, efficient electricity delivery,” said Jimmy Glotfelty, senior policy advisor to the secretary, Department of Energy. “This project is an example of advanced technology that can both strengthen and improve the electrical system—superconducting power cables offer higher capacity and greater efficiency in the delivery of electric power.”

Michael R. Hynes, vice president, business services for Niagara Mohawk’s Capital Region, added: “The successful completion of this underground cable project in Albany, New York could revolutionize the manner in which electricity is delivered to consumers globally.”

Glenn H. Epstein, chairman and chief executive officer of Intermagnetics, said, “Our ultimate goal is to demonstrate the technical benefits of superconductors, as well as to demonstrate that HTS cables and related devices can be produced at favorable cost-performance ratios. Superconductors are more efficient than conventional copper-based technology because they have no resistance to the flow of electricity. That means HTS cables could deliver power at lower voltages, eliminating the need for some transformers along the delivery path.

“In addition,” Epstein said, “HTS cables are cooled cryogenically with liquid nitrogen—a benign material—in contrast to the hazardous, flammable and potentially polluting oils used to cool conventional cables. We also expect this to be the first demonstration of second-generation HTS technology, which is expected to reduce production costs to a level that would make HTS technology commercially feasible.”

Sumitomo Electric—a major international developer and manufacturer of electric power cables, electronics, telecommunications and automotive equipment, with more than 30-years of experience in superconductivity research and development—will fabricate the 350-meter, 34.5 kV, 800 ampere first-generation HTS cable. The cable will be installed underground on the Niagara Mohawk distribution system with a splice 30 meters from one end. The splice will also be the first of its kind and is viewed as a critical demonstration of additional technology necessary to install and operate longer length HTS cables for full commercial applications. During the latter stages of the project, the 30-meter cable section will be replaced with an identical length using second-generation HTS conductor.

SuperPower will be the lead coordinator for all aspects of the project and will manufacture the second-generation conductor for the latter phase of the project. Epstein said he expects the first stage to be completed and operating in 2005, with the second phase—adding the second-generation HTS conductor—completed in 2006.

“This latest government funding enables us to participate in an important Energy Technology project with prudent near-term spending by Intermagnetics,” Epstein said. “That means Intermagnetics’ investment in SuperPower is envisioned to remain at or below historical levels, while at the same time we significantly expand our development activities.”

Intermagnetics (www.igc.com), drawing on the financial strength, operational excellence and technical leadership in its core businesses of Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Instrumentation has become a prominent participant in superconducting applications for Energy Technology. The company has a more than 30-year history as a successful developer, manufacturer and marketer of superconducting materials, radio-frequency coils, magnets and devices utilizing low- and high-temperature superconductors and related cryogenic equipment. Intermagnetics derives current revenues primarily from applications within magnetic resonance imaging for medical diagnostics and cryogenic applications for vacuum and related processes. The company is at the forefront in the development of high-temperature superconductor-based applications that would provide increased capacity and reliability for transmission and distribution of electric power. Through its own research and development programs and in conjunction with industry and other partners, Intermagnetics is committed to further commercialization of applied superconductivity and cryogenic systems for a broad range of applications.

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Safe Harbor Statement: The statements contained in this press release that are not historical fact are "forward-looking statements" which involve various important assumptions, risks, uncertainties and other factors. These include, without limitation, the assumptions, risks, and uncertainties set forth here as well as in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K, including but not limited to, the company's ability to: (1) to finalize its funding agreement with the DOE (2) attract and maintain strategic partners for its HTS initiatives (3) invest sufficient resources, and receive additional external funding to continue its development efforts; (4) attract and retain the personnel necessary to achieve its objectives; (5) attain commercial acceptance for and adoption of its products and technology; (6) meet the cost-benefit ratio that will be critical to making HTS technology commercial viable; and (7) avoid the potential adverse impact on the company of emerging patents in the highly competitive energy technology field. Except for the company's continuing obligation to disclose material information under federal securities law, the company is not obligated to update its forward-looking statements even though situations may change in the future. The company qualifies all of its forward-looking statements by these cautionary statements.

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