Nexans has been awarded a contract by AMSC to produce a cable for the Resilient Electric Grid (REG) project in Chicago, US. The cable, together with a special jointing system, will be deployed in a Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) substation.

AMSC and ComEd, one of the largest electric utilities in the U.S., entered into a commercial contract as part of the ongoing U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate’s initiative to secure the United States’ electric grid against extreme weather and other catastrophic events. The high current density of the REG cable is a key advantage for ComEd, as it enables a very compact installation footprint that is ideally suited for creating new power links in densely populated urban areas where space is at a premium.

The REG system provides protection against catastrophic effects resulting from the loss of critical substation facilities in urban areas by interconnecting and sharing excess capacity of nearby substations, while preventing high fault currents. The result is enhanced protection from cascading failures and widespread power outages on the power grid. The design selected for the REG project also has a low environmental impact as there is near zero thermal and electromagnetic fields.

Using Amperium superconductor wire manufactured by AMSC, Nexans will manufacture the cable for the REG project at its specialized superconductor facility in Hannover, Germany. The cable installation in Chicago, US is scheduled for the end of 2020.

“We are delighted to be working with AMSC to take Chicago’s REG superconductor cable project to the next phase,” says Jérôme Fournier, Chief Technical Officer for Nexans. “This project will provide further practical evidence that superconductors offer a fully realized, commercial solution to reinforce heavily-loaded power networks in urban areas worldwide.”

Image source: Courtesy of Nexans

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