Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), LS Cable & System and American Superconductor Corporation recently announced that the world's longest distribution-voltage superconductor cable system has been energized at the I'cheon substation located near the city of Seoul. Powered by AMSC's Amperium(TM) superconductor wire and installed in Korea Electric Power Company's (KEPCO) electricity grid, the 22.9 kV alternating current (AC) cable system is capable of carrying approximately 50 megawatts of power. This is the first cable in the world utilizing second generation (2G) superconductor wire to be energized in the grid and is currently the longest distribution voltage superconductor power cable in operation.
"The energizing of the I'cheon substation has great historical significance and demonstrates that Korean power electric technology is at a world-class level," said Yup Heo, Executive Vice President of KEPCO's construction division. "Based on the technology and the know-how from this installation, KEPCO will continue to develop transmission voltage superconductor power cables and is securing the world's top superconductor technology and market position."AC superconductor power cable systems can conduct up to 10 times the amount of power of conventional cables made with copper wire. As demonstrated at the I'cheon substation installation, they can be placed strategically in urban power grids to deliver more power than conventional cables in the same right-of-way to mitigate grid congestion or can be used to replace overhead lines.
"Already over-taxed power grids around the world are being challenged to meet rising electricity demands associated with today's growing and increasingly networked economy. Because superconductor technology provides a reliable, cost-effective solution, we see it as a tremendous growth opportunity," saidLS Cable & System President Jong-ho Son. "Beginning with helping to fulfill KEPCO's vision and expanding into a global business, we plan to capitalize on superconductor technology to meet the growing power demands of Korea and the world."In October of 2010, LS Cable & System and AMSC entered into the world's first large-scale commercial superconductor wire supply agreement. AMSC recently made its initial wire shipment to LS Cable & System under this new agreement to allow it to begin qualification work for Korea's next superconductor cable projects. KEPCO is now planning a 1 kilometer, 154kV AC cable system and a 500 meter, 80kV DC cable system in the grid on South Korea's Jeju Island.
"This installation represents a significant milestone in our close strategic relationship with LS Cable & System and KEPCO," said AMSC President and Chief Executive Officer Daniel McGahn. "KEPCO is focused on ensuring that Korea's power grid is unparalleled in terms of its strength, its reliability and its efficiency. We are proud to work alongside them, providing the high-quality wire they require to begin manufacturing superconductor cables to upgrade their electricity network and others around the world."