American Superconductor Corp. (AMSC; Westborough, Massachusetts), an electricity solutions company, and the Corporate Technology Unit of Siemens AG (Erlangen, Germany), a global power systems company, have formed a strategic alliance to develop and explore the commercialization aspects of high-temperature superconductor (HTS) fault current limiters (FCLs) by building and testing FCL components based on AMSC's second-generation (2G) HTS wire. FCLs are expected to serve as high-voltage surge protectors for power grids.

Prior to establishing this alliance, Siemens and AMSC, in close contact with electric utilities in Europe, Canada and the United States, defined specific customer needs that meet their performance and economic requirements for today's complex power networks. Based on that input, the companies jointly crafted a road map to demonstrate FCLs based on AMSC's 2G HTS wire and Siemens' FCL design.

Under the terms of the agreement, Siemens will develop performance requirements for its FCL design and AMSC will tailor its standard 2G HTS wire to meet those specifications.

The first deliveries of 2G HTS wire to Siemens are expected to be made from AMSC's pre-pilot manufacturing line in 2005.