Superconducting power cables are market-ready and can be an important part of future power grids. Nexans’ experts and academics came together last month with customers and industry professionals at the Musée des arts et metiers in Paris, France to discuss how superconducting power grids could provide a real solution to the changing energy environment in Europe.

Around 100 delegates heard about the changes in power grids in European countries, driven by European targets and the move to renewable energy sources. One major European project changing the face of energy transition in Europe is e-Highway 2050. Jean Verseille, Chairman of the Research & Development Committee at ENTSO-E, shared details of the project which looks at grid development across Europe over the next 35 years. 

After almost two years in continuous operation, the AmpaCity project has proven that the technology is reliable and has shown how superconducting cables can be used to distribute power in densely populated areas like in the city center of Essen/Germany. With a smaller footprint than conventional overhead or subterranean power cables, superconducting power cables are a solution to manage increasing demand for power in cities. Furthermore it was demonstrated in several business cases how superconducting Fault Current Limiters can offer opportunities to plan distribution grids in a more efficient and reliable way. In general, speakers and panellists are expecting that further installations will follow which will confirm the demonstrated benefits of this technology.

Frank Schmidt, Head of Superconductor Activities at Nexans said, “This annual conference was an opportunity for industry professionals, customers and academics to discuss current issues and debate the availability of our superconducting solutions. I am more than happy to see that superconductivity has arrived in the daily life of energy supply and can play an important role in electrical grids.

Our video shows highlights of the conference, and includes opinions from Sébastien Henry, Director of R&D Innovation at RTE, Oliver Sauerbach, Manager Grid Planning, Westnetz and other delegates on superconducting power grids.