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Electricite de France Orders New Industrial Power Quality SMES Product
American Superconductor to Deliver its First PQ IVR This Summer
MIDDLETON, Wisc.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 4, 2000--American Superconductor (Nasdaq: AMSC - news) announced today an order for one of its new Power Quality-Industrial Voltage Restorer (PQ IVR(TM)) units from Electricite de France (EDF), one of the world's largest utilities. The PQ IVR is based on American Superconductor's proprietary superconducting magnetic energy storage (SMES) technology. The company expects to install the PQ IVR in the summer of 2000 at an EDF demonstration site near Paris.

American Superconductor's industrial power quality SMES products, which include the PQ VR(TM) and the new PQ IVR, are designed to provide protection to critical equipment, such as microprocessors and motors, in manufacturing facilities from momentary sags in voltage. Normal operation of power delivery networks is designed to minimize power outages. However, severe weather, traffic accidents and unforeseen equipment failures can lead to momentary sags in the voltage on power lines, most being less than two seconds in duration. According to industry data, these momentary voltage sags cost manufacturers billions of dollars annually in damaged equipment and lost production.

``We have evaluated American Superconductor's proprietary SMES technologies in depth, and have chosen the PQ IVR for our demonstration site,' stated Gerard Menjon, executive vice president at EDF. ``We intend to use the demonstration site to allow European customers to understand firsthand the full value of this new technology for protection against voltage sags for their specific manufacturing operations. We expect to start installation of SMES units at a customer site within the next 6 to 12 months.'

Menjon added that he believes American Superconductor's SMES product line, including the new PQ IVR, will provide a way for EDF to strongly differentiate its power offerings from the competition in Europe's newly deregulated and intensely competitive power market.

The PQ IVR is a new power quality product offering from American Superconductor. It differs from the company's PQ VR product in that it can provide protection for larger electrical loads. This enhanced capability has been created by American Superconductor through its development of proprietary power electronics technology, which the company combines with its standard superconducting storage coil technology.

``The recognition by electric utilities of their need to provide full solutions to power quality problems is growing as competition in the electric utility industry continues to increase,' said Greg Yurek, American Superconductor's chief executive. ``We believe the PQ IVR is the lowest cost, most effective industrial power quality solution on the market today. We are delighted that EDF will be the first to install this new product in Europe.'
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