A public-private partnership is applying the latest technology to protect New York City’s power grid from the worst possible scenarios.

Consolidated Edison Inc. (ConEd), American Superconductor Corp. and the national Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have teamed up to develop and deploy a new high temperature superconductor (HTS) power grid technology. The prototype uses customized HTS wires, HTS power cables and ancillary controls to deliver more power through the grid while also being able to suppress disruptive power surges that may occur as a result of natural events, accidents and even terrorist attacks.

The DHS is expected to invest up to $25 million in the development of the technology with expectations that “Secure Super Grids” could be deployed in other cities across the country.

ConEd has contracted out the production of the HTS wire, known as 344 superconductors, to American Superconductor Corp.

Code-named “Project Hydra,” the deployment of the HTS cable system in New York will be completed in two phases over the course of three years. The first phase involves the development and operation of a prototype system. The second phase will involve the deployment of the first secure super grid system in ConEd’s power grid in New York.  EC