Nexans and AMSC Introduce Fault Current Limiter for North American Utilities

Nexans and AMSC Introduce Fault Current Limiter for North American Utilities

  *Medium voltage system expected to improve grid reliability and operation
    while reducing costs
  *Several systems already successfully operating in Europe

DEVENS, Mass., Dec. 5, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- AMSC (Nasdaq:AMSC), a global
solutions provider serving wind and grid leaders, and Nexans, a worldwide
expert in the cable industry, today introduced to the North American market a
medium voltage superconductor fault current limiter (SFCL) solution that is
designed to meet many of the challenges caused by today's highly
interconnected networks and diversified generation sources.

Fault currents, which are caused by short circuits in the grid, are a growing
challenge for power grid operators worldwide. These destructive currents can
be caused by a variety of factors, including lightning or downed power lines.
As electricity demand and generation has grown and power grids have become
more interconnected, the magnitude of these fault currents has increased
significantly. To counter this, utilities have long devised complicated
operating schemes and have employed over-rated equipment and a variety of
fault current mitigation systems such as fault current limiting reactors.
However, each of these approaches has distinct drawbacks, most notably in the
area of cost.

According to a report from the Electric Power Research Institute, "Utilities
are seriously re-assessing fault current mitigation methods and consider
emerging novel FCL technologies as vital alternatives to existing methods,
provided these technologies prove to be the most cost effective means of fault
current management."

Fault current limiters are one of the key elements in the development of smart
grids. The superconductor-enabled fault current limiter being offered by
Nexans and AMSC is a cost-effective, fast (response time of less than 2
milliseconds) and self-acting system that limits currents to safe, manageable
values. The system is passive, typically sitting idle and "invisible" to the
grid, but can sense and then suppress fault currents when they occur, sparing
transformers, switchgear and other equipment from damage and protecting the
broader power grid. Its ability to sit passively eliminates the losses
associated with normal power flow along with many other constraints that are
encountered with conventional solutions.

"Nexans has a lengthy history of meeting emerging utility market needs with
innovative and highly reliable solutions," said Jean-Maxime Saugrain, Nexans
Corporate Vice President Technical. "For years, power grid operators worldwide
have been forced to implement sub-optimized schemes to deal with rising fault
current levels. That is no longer the case. With a decade of development and
demonstrations behind us and initial deployments taking place in Europe, we
are excited to be introducing SFCLs to the North American marketplace with

AMSC and Nexans are offering SFCL systems with ratings up to 36 kilovolts,
allowing for their use on most utility electric distribution systems. These
systems have been designed to offer numerous benefits. By lowering peak
currents during faults, electric utilities can:

  *Greatly reduce system equipment costs
  *Defer or eliminate equipment replacement
  *Increase equipment life
  *Improve grid performance and operation
  *Simplify renewables integration
  *Improve operator safety

Electric utilities managing grids in urban centers are facing increasing load
growth challenges. In these settings, substation expansion and construction
can be exceedingly expensive and, while the interconnection of substations
would be a compelling solution, it is often impossible due to the magnitude of
fault currents that would result from these ties. By lowering fault current
levels, SFCLs can overcome this impasse in a cost-effective manner and enable
safe and reliable substation interconnections, providing utilities and their
customers with unparalleled network reliability and resiliency. This is just
one of the many compelling applications for the SFCL systems being offered by
Nexans and AMSC.

Nexans has already installed SFCL systems in Germany and the United Kingdom
and is going to install additional systems in Europe.

"We are pleased to be expanding our product line and our relationship with
Nexans with the launch of the SFCL," said AMSC President and Chief Executive
Officer Daniel P. McGahn. "Having successfully teamed to install
superconductor power cables and develop and demonstrate SFCL systems, both
AMSC and Nexans believe the time is now to begin capitalizing on the
tremendous potential that exists for these offerings in the utility market."

The Nexans/AMSC SFCL system will employ AMSC's Amperium® superconductor wire,
which is able to conduct approximately 200 times the electrical current of
copper wire of similar dimensions. This wire is being used in numerous
high-power applications, including SFCLs, power cables, motors and generators.
AMSC will lead the North American marketing and sales efforts for the
Nexans/AMSC SFCL solution.

About Nexans

With energy at the basis of its development, Nexans, worldwide expert in the
cable industry, offers an extensive range of cables and cabling solutions. The
Group is a global player in the energy transmission and distribution, industry
and building markets. Nexans addresses a wide series of market segments: from
energy and telecom networks to energy resources (wind turbines, photovoltaic,
oil and gas or mining…) to transportation (shipbuilding, aerospace, automotive
and automation, railways...). Nexans is a responsible industrial company that
regards sustainable development as integral to its global and operational
strategy. Continuous innovation in products, solutions and services, employee
development and commitment, customer orientation and the introduction of safe
industrial processes with limited environmental impact are among the key
initiatives that place Nexans at the core of a sustainable future. With an
industrial presence in 40 countries and commercial activities worldwide,
Nexans employs 25,000 people and had sales in 2011 of 7 billion euros. Nexans
is listed on NYSE Euronext Paris, compartment A. For more information, please
consult: or


AMSC generates the ideas, technologies and solutions that meet the world's
demand for smarter, cleaner … better energy. Through its Windtec™ Solutions,
AMSC provides wind turbine electronic controls and systems, designs and
engineering services that reduce the cost of wind energy. Through its Gridtec™
Solutions, AMSC provides the engineering planning services and advanced grid
systems that optimize network reliability, efficiency and performance. The
company's solutions are now powering gigawatts of renewable energy globally
and enhancing the performance and reliability of power networks in more than a
dozen countries. Founded in 1987, AMSC is headquartered near Boston,
Massachusetts with operations in Asia, Australia, Europe and North America.
For more information, please visit

The AMSC logo is available at

AMSC, Amperium, Windtec and Gridtec are trademarks or registered trademarks of
American Superconductor Corporation. All other brand names, product names,
trademarks or service marks belong to their respective holders.

Any statements in this release about future expectations, plans and prospects
for the company, including without limitation our prospects for future growth,
expectations regarding the performance of our products and other statements
containing the words "believes," "anticipates," "plans," "expects," "will" and
similar expressions, constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning
of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking
statements represent management's current expectations and are inherently
uncertain. There are a number of important factors that could materially
impact the value of our common stock or cause actual results to differ
materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements. Such
factors include: our success in addressing the wind energy market is dependent
on the manufacturers that license our designs; we may not realize all of the
sales expected from our backlog of orders and contracts; our business and
operations would be adversely impacted in the event of a failure or security
breach of our information technology infrastructure; our success is dependent
upon attracting and retaining qualified personnel and our inability to do so
could significantly damage our business and prospects; we rely upon
third-party suppliers for the components and subassemblies of many of our Wind
and Grid products, making us vulnerable to supply shortages and price
fluctuations, which could harm our business; many of our revenue opportunities
are dependent upon subcontractors and other business collaborators; if we fail
to implement our business strategy successfully, our financial performance
could be harmed; problems with product quality or product performance may
cause us to incur warranty expenses and may damage our market reputation and
prevent us from achieving increased sales and market share; our contracts with
the U.S. government are subject to audit, modification or termination by the
U.S. government and include certain other provisions in favor of the
government - the continued funding of such contracts remains subject to annual
congressional appropriation which, if not approved, could reduce our revenue
and lower or eliminate our profit; we may acquire additional complementary
businesses or technologies, which may require us to incur substantial costs
for which we may never realize the anticipated benefits; many of our customers
outside of the United States are, either directly or indirectly, related to
governmental entities, and we could be adversely affected by violations of the
United States Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and similar worldwide anti-bribery
laws outside the United States; we have limited experience in marketing and
selling our superconductor products and system-level solutions, and our
failure to effectively market and sell our products and solutions could lower
our revenue and cash flow; we have a history of operating losses, and we may
incur additional losses in the future; our operating results may fluctuate
significantly from quarter to quarter and may fall below expectations in any
particular fiscal quarter; we may require additional funding in the future and
may be unable to raise capital when needed; our new debt obligations include
certain covenants and other events of default - should we not comply with the
covenants or incur an event of default, we may be required to repay our debt
obligations in cash, which could have an adverse effect on our liquidity; we
have recorded a liability for adverse purchase commitments with certain of our
vendors - should we be required to settle these liabilities in cash, our
liquidity could be adversely affected;if we fail to maintain proper and
effective internal controls over financial reporting, our ability to produce
accurate and timely financial statements could be impaired and may lead
investors and other users to lose confidence in our financial data; we may be
required to issue performance bonds or provide letters of credit, which
restricts our ability to access any cash used as collateral for the bonds or
letters of credit; changes in exchange rates could adversely affect our
results from operations; growth of the wind energy market depends largely on
the availability and size of government subsidies and economic incentives; we
depend on sales to customers in China, and global conditions could negatively
affect our operating results or limit our ability to expand our operations
outside of China; changes in China's political, social, regulatory and
economic environment may affect our financial performance; our products face
intense competition, which could limit our ability to acquire or retain
customers; our international operations are subject to risks that we do not
face in the United States, which could have an adverse effect on our operating
results; adverse changes in domestic and global economic conditions could
adversely affect our operating results; we may be unable to adequately prevent
disclosure of trade secrets and other proprietary information; our patents may
not provide meaningful protection for our technology, which could result in us
losing some or all of our market position; the commercial uses of
superconductor products are limited today, and a widespread commercial market
for our products may not develop; there are a number of technological
challenges that must be successfully addressed before our superconductor
products can gain widespread commercial acceptance, and our inability to
address such technological challenges could adversely affect our ability to
acquire customers for our products; we have not manufactured our Amperium wire
in commercial quantities, and a failure to manufacture our Amperium wire in
commercial quantities at acceptable cost and quality levels would
substantially limit our future revenue and profit potential; third parties
have or may acquire patents that cover the materials, processes and
technologies we use or may use in the future to manufacture our Amperium
products, and our success depends on our ability to license such patents or
other proprietary rights; our technology and products could infringe
intellectual property rights of others, which may require costly litigation
and, if we are not successful, could cause us to pay substantial damages and
disrupt our business; we have filed a demand for arbitration and other
lawsuits against our former largest customer, Sinovel, regarding amounts we
contend are overdue - we cannot be certain as to the outcome of these
proceedings; we have been named as a party to purported stockholder class
actions and stockholder derivative complaints, and we may be named in
additional litigation, all of which will require significant management time
and attention, result in significant legal expenses and may result in an
unfavorable outcome, which could have a material adverse effect on our
business, operating results and financial condition; our 7% convertible note
contains warrants and provisions that could limit our ability to repay the
note in shares of common stock and should the note be repaid in stock,
shareholders could experience significant dilution; our common stock has
experienced, and may continue to experience, significant market price and
volume fluctuations, which may prevent our stockholders from selling our
common stock at a profit and could lead to costly litigation against us that
could divert our management's attention. Reference is made to many of these
factors and others in the "Risk Factors" section of the company's most recent
quarterly or annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
In addition, any forward-looking statements included in this release represent
the company's expectations as of the date of this release. While the company
anticipates that subsequent events and developments may cause the company's
views to change, the company specifically disclaims any obligation to update
these forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements should not
be relied upon as representing the company's views as of any date subsequent
to the date of this release.

         Jason Fredette
         Phone: 978-842-3177
         Nexans Contacts:
         Angeline Afanoukoe
         Phone: +33 (0)1 73 23 84 12
         Investor Relations:
         Michel Gedeon
         Phone: +33 (0)1 73 23 85 31

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.