American Superconductor Corporation (NASDAQ: AMSC), a global power technologies company, today announced in conjunction with Global Wind Day 2010 that it has achieved a significant milestone by supporting the production of more than 15,000 megawatts (MW) of wind power worldwide with its proprietary power electronic solutions.
This amount of zero-emission electricity is sufficient to power approximately 4.5 million U.S. households and represents nearly 10 percent of the world’s 158,000 MW of wind power installed as of the end of 2009.
“The fast-growing global wind industry continues to be the primary business driver for AMSC,” said AMSC founder and Chief Executive Officer Greg Yurek. “We are providing proprietary wind turbine designs and production support services to more than a dozen customers in seven countries around the world, including 10 customers in the Asia Pacific region. Each wind turbine produced by these companies utilizes AMSC’s core electrical components and control systems, which serve as the brains of these power generation machines.
“In addition, AMSC’s D-VAR grid interconnection technology, including our D-VAR RT low voltage ride through solution, is being utilized by more than 70 wind farms in seven countries worldwide to meet local grid interconnection requirements,” Yurek continued. “With nations around the world seeking to derive a greater percentage of their energy needs from renewable energy sources, we believe we have only begun to scratch the surface of the renewable energy grid interconnection market’s potential.”
Recent industry reports forecast further acceleration of wind turbine installations in 2010 and over the next decade in China and other Asian countries. “Annual installations in China are expected to grow from approximately 14,000 MW in 2009 to 20,000 MW in 2011,” Yurek said. “As a result of this rapid growth in China and the broader Asia-Pacific market, we expect our overall wind-related businesses to continue to flourish going forward.”
AMSC’s Wind Turbine Engineering and Power Electronics
AMSC Windtec, a wholly owned subsidiary of AMSC, designs a variety of megawatt-class wind turbines for use both onshore and offshore. AMSC Windtec then licenses those designs to manufacturers, provides extensive service and support through volume production, and then sells power electronics and control systems required for each wind turbine manufactured by its licensees. This unique business model enables new wind turbine manufacturers to begin commercial production in as little as 12 months.
AMSC Windtec currently has more than a dozen customers around the world, including China’s Sinovel Wind Group Co., Ltd. (the world’s third largest wind turbine manufacturer), China’s Dongfang Turbine Co. Ltd. (the world’s ninth largest wind turbine manufacturer) and Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. (a Global 500 corporation). Each of these customers are working with AMSC Windtec on multiple wind turbine platforms, and each of the wind turbines produced by these customers utilize power electronics and control systems produced by AMSC. To date, AMSC has shipped enough of these products to operate thousands of wind turbines with a total power capacity of more than 10,000 MW.
AMSC’s wind turbine power electronics and control systems include the company’s proprietary PowerModule™ power converters, pitch and yaw converters, SCADA systems and integrated control systems. They enable reliable, high-performance wind turbine operation by controlling power flows, regulating voltage, monitoring system performance, controlling the pitch of wind turbine blades and the yaw of the turbines to maximize efficiency.
AMSC’s Wind Farm Interconnection Systems
AMSC’s D-VAR® solution is a Smart Grid system that provides dynamic voltage control, power factor correction and post-contingency reactive compensation to stabilize the power grid and prevent undesirable events such as voltage collapse. This product has become the de facto standard for connecting wind farms to power grids worldwide. AMSC’s D-VAR and D-VAR RT solutions are now being employed at more than 70 wind farms in seven countries worldwide that are capable of producing more than 5,000 MW of combined zero-emission electricity.
A number of countries and provinces around the world have imposed stringent interconnection requirements for wind farms that serve as a catalyst for AMSC’s sales. These countries include the United Kingdom, where AMSC’s D-VAR system is serving more than 10 wind farms, and Australia, where AMSC is helping to connect a third of the country’s wind power to the grid. In 2009, AMSC announced its first D-VAR system sale into China, the world’s largest installer of wind power, and the company has since received multiple follow-on orders in that market.
Global Wind Power Market
According to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), the global wind power installed base grew by 38,000 MW, or more than 30 percent, in 2009 to 158,505 MW. GWEC expects this installed base to more than double to 347,000 MW by the end of 2013. Countries in the Asia Pacific region, particularly China, are expected to be the most significant contributors to this expansion.
American Superconductor (NASDAQ: AMSC) offers an array of proprietary technologies and solutions spanning the electric power infrastructure – from generation to delivery to end use. The company is a leader in renewable energy, providing proven, megawatt-scale wind turbine designs and electrical control systems. The company also offers a host of Smart Grid technologies for power grid operators that enhance the reliability, efficiency and capacity of the grid, and seamlessly integrate renewable energy sources into the power infrastructure.
These include superconductor power cable systems, grid-level surge protectors and power electronics-based voltage stabilization systems. AMSC’s technologies are protected by a broad and deep intellectual property portfolio consisting of hundreds of patents and licenses worldwide.