Intermagnetics Announces Agreement Between SuperPower and American Electric Power on MFCL Project

Intermagnetics Announces Agreement Between SuperPower and American Electric Power on MFCL Project
11/15/2004

 

  • SuperPower and AEP to Collaborate on Matrix Fault Current Limiter Project
  • AEP Commits to Serve as Host utility for Transmission-Level Voltage Device

Latham, NY- Intermagnetics General Corporation (NASDAQ: IMGC) today announced that its Energy Technology subsidiary, SuperPower, Inc., has executed a collaboration agreement with AEP EmTech, LLC, a subsidiary of American Electric Power Company, Inc. of Columbus, Ohio, for the development, installation and demonstration of a Beta Prototype high-temperature superconducting (HTS) Matrix Fault Current Limiter (MFCL) device. The MFCL, a device that would protect utility grids from damaging surges in current, is based on proprietary patent-protected technology developed at SuperPower.

Glenn H. Epstein, chairman and CEO of Intermagnetics said, “This is a significant move forward in the program as it will allow for the installation and demonstration of a 138 kV, three-phase, Beta prototype MFCL device at an AEP transmission substation.” SuperPower successfully completed a proof-of-concept prototype MFCL device in July 2004 and is now in the design stage of developing and testing a single phase,138 kV Alpha prototype device.
Richard Verret, senior vice president - transmission at American Electric Power said, “By formalizing its collaboration with SuperPower, AEP is building on its early membership on SuperPower’s MFCL Technical Advisory Board. We look forward to hosting the world’s first demonstration of a transmission level superconducting fault current limiter. Our commitment to the development of this device is evidence of the need we have seen for this technology for at least 20 years. That need will increase as the demand for reliable electricity continues to grow. This technology can help us address the challenge of maintaining a reliable grid at the lowest possible cost. The MFCL is being designed to integrate effectively with existing assets.”
“AEP’s participation as the host utility for this device adds the one critical element that had remained to complete the project team,” said Philip J. Pellegrino, president of SuperPower. “While installation of a device at the utility host site will only take place in the final phase of the program, AEP’s participation in the earlier design stages will help to ensure that the device is developed with the specific needs of the utility industry in mind.”
The $12.2 million MFCL development program has been underway at SuperPower since June 2002. Early in the project, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), a non-profit energy research consortium of utilities, committed $600,000 toward the effort. The U. S. Department of Energy announced program funding of $6.1 million in August 2003 and, at the same time, SuperPower announced that Nexans SuperConductors GmbH had joined the development team as a strategic partner in the project. Nexans is supplying its patented “melt cast” superconductors for the device and is sharing the uncovered costs of the program with SuperPower.
James Daley, superconductivity program director at the U. S. Department of Energy said, “The electric power industry has great interest in new technologies for grid reliability enhancement. The MFCL has the potential to protect at transmission level voltages, where there are no conventional alternatives. There is an immediate need that the MFCL could fill, and it also promises to be a cost effective solution.”
SuperPower executed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with Oak Ridge National Laboratory to tap the lab’s substantial expertise in high voltage engineering and cryogenics. Similar agreements may also be executed with Los Alamos and Argonne National Laboratories in the areas of testing and analytics, respectively, if DOE funding permits.
Clark Gellings, vice president of power delivery and markets at EPRI, said, “The MFCL that is being developed by SuperPower and Nexans is a superconducting technology that is needed by utilities today. It addresses present day challenges that are being faced by utilities as new sources of power are being added to existing transmission & distribution systems, leading to increased fault current.”
American Electric Power (www.aep.com) owns more than 36,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the United States and is the nation’s largest electricity generator. AEP is also one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, with more than five million customers linked to AEP’s eleven state electricity transmission and distribution grid. The company is based in Columbus, Ohio.
SuperPower, Inc. (www.superpower-inc.com), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Intermagnetics General Corporation, uses core capabilities in materials, cryogenics and magnetics to develop state-of-the-art second-generation HTS wire and electric power components such as underground transmission and distribution cables, transformers and fault current limiters.
 
Intermagnetics (www.intermagnetics.com) draws on the financial strength, operational excellence and technical leadership in its expanding business of Medical Technology that encompasses Magnetic Resonance Imaging Systems & Components and PatientMonitoring. Intermagnetics is also a key supplier to the markets within Instrumentation and 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, high-field magnets, medical systems & components and other specialized high value-added devices.
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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) attract and maintain strategic partners for its HTS initiatives; (2) invest sufficient resources and receive additional external funding to continue its development efforts; (3) attract and retain the personnel necessary to achieve its objectives; (4) attain commercial acceptance for and adoption of its products and technology; (5) successfully develop commercially viable production methods, and successfully improve those methods to meet the cost-benefit ratio that will be critical to making HTS technology commercially competitive; and (6) 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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