Nexans wins contract for Chicago’s Resilient Electric Grid project


AMSC has selected Nexans as its partner in a project aimed to help US utility ComEd to improve the resilience of its grid network in Chicago against extreme weather.

Nexans has been tasked with producing a medium voltage HTS (high temperature superconductor) cable to interconnect grid assets in downtown Chicago.

The Resilient Electric Grid (REG) project is part of an initiative between ComEd and the US Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate to secure the country’s grid network against 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.

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The 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 cable installation in Chicago 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 realised, commercial solution to reinforce heavily-loaded power networks in urban areas worldwide.”