This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

July 07, 2004

Construction Starts on Grid-Connected Superconducting Cable

Superpower, Inc. announced on June 28th that it has begun building a 350-meter power cable in New York that will use high-temperature superconductor (HTS) materials. HTS cables have low energy losses as power passes through them, so they are able to carry more power, in less space, more efficiently. The HTS cable now under construction will run underneath Interstate 90 to connect two substations in Albany. DOE is providing partial funding for the project, and Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham lauded the project, noting that the project is "an example of technologies we are investing in that will dramatically improve our ability to move electricity and help us to modernize our ailing grid system." See the announcement and video of the groundbreaking on the Superpower Web site.

Governor Pataki attended the event, and the next day he announced that another important grid project has been completed in New York. The world's first grid-installed convertible static compensator (CSC) provides the capability of instantaneously shifting power from a heavily loaded transmission line to one with spare capacity. The CSC and the HTS cable are both technologies that are envisioned for a future "smart grid," which would allow greater control of the flow of power through the electrical grid. See the governor's press release.