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DHS Approves Resilient Electric Grid Project in Chicago

The REG system to strengthen Chicago’s electric grid, enhance its load-serving capacity, resiliency, and reliability.

American Superconductor (AMSC) recently announced that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has signed the modification of its Resilient Electric Grid (REG) agreement with AMSC. The contract modification with DHS approves the scope of AMSC’s REG project with Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) and will enable AMSC to recover a portion of the project cost.

AMSC is a global energy solutions provider serving wind and power grid industry leaders. Chicago’s REG project is funded in part by the DHS Science and Technology Directorate initiative to secure the nation’s electric grid against extreme weather or other catastrophic events. The REG system uses AMSC’s high temperature superconductor technology and, under the terms of the agreement between AMSC and ComEd, will link existing electric power infrastructure within the city of Chicago. The REG system is expected to strengthen Chicago’s electric grid, enhancing its load-serving capacity, resiliency, and reliability.

An innovative approach to the electric grid, REG systems significantly increase the reliability and load-serving capacity of the electric grid by enabling the use of transmission and distribution assets in a way that is not feasible with traditional technologies while limiting the need for additional grid infrastructure, which mitigates environmental impact.

The key component of the REG system is AMSC's breakthrough Amperium wire that combines with other sub-system design elements to increase the reliability, redundancy, and resiliency of urban power grids, greatly reducing the impact of equipment failure due to aging, cyber threats, physical disasters, or weather-related events.

The AMSC expects that the engineering work for the REG project in Chicago will begin in 2019, the REG project hardware will be delivered in 2020, and the REG system will be operational in 2021.

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