American Superconductor Corporation has received new orders for wind turbine core electrical components and full wind turbine electrical systems from companies in Canada and China that are in the process of adopting and scaling up manufacturing of wind turbines designed by AMSC's wholly owned subsidiary, AMSC Windtec.
Dongfang Steam Turbine Works, the third largest wind turbine manufacturer in China according to the China Wind Energy Association, has placed its first order for complete electrical systems for four 2.5 megawatt (MW) wind turbines it plans to manufacture and test in early 2009. AMSC Windtec is developing a portfolio of 2.5 megawatt (MW) wind turbines under a contract it received from DTC in March 2007.
"This series of new orders for wind turbine core electrical components further validates our AMSC Windtec business model," said AMSC founder and CEO Greg Yurek in an issued press statement. "AMSC Windtec helps to quickly establish new wind turbine manufacturers by providing wind turbine designs and helping with local sourcing of core wind turbine components. Once our customers go into production of wind turbines, we then sell them the sophisticated core electrical components necessary to operate these systems successfully and efficiently. The sale of wind turbine core electrical components has, in fact, become a very large fraction of our business. With the customers we signed in 2007 now beginning to order core electrical components to meet their wind turbine manufacturing needs and new licensees and development partners on the near-term horizon, we expect our wind power business to continue to grow and diversify going forward."
These latest orders bring the total amount of wind power to be supported by AMSC products to 6.6 gigawatts, equivalent to approximately seven percent of the worldwide installed base of wind generated electricity as of December 2007. AMSC's wind turbine core electrical components include the company's proprietary PowerModule power converters and enable reliable, high-performance wind turbine operation by controlling power flows, regulating voltage, monitoring system performance and controlling the pitch of wind turbine blades to maximize efficiency.
Yurek added that approximately 65 percent of AMSC's revenues in fiscal 2007, which ends March 31, 2008, are expected to be from the global wind industry. "This fiscal year, roughly 70 percent of our sales are international, with the lion's share of these sales coming from the wind industry," he said. "With the wind industry expected to continue to grow at double-digit rates for many years to come, we expect sales to this market will remain a large fraction of AMSC's revenue makeup – even as we continue to ramp up sales of our other products to the power grid market worldwide."