Where will HTS cable technology be in 10, 20 or 30 years? While no one knows the answer to this question there are opportunities to leverage superconducting cable technologies to make significant changes to the electric power grid as we know it. HTS cable technology has proven and continues to prove its reliability and applications in the power grid, but will remain a niche product for the near term. Longer term opportunities for superconducting cables include:
Low-Impact Connection of Renewables
One of the downsides to most renewable energy alternatives is the remote location of the assets. Most high value sites for wind and solar farms are in remote parts of the country void of population centers where the power is most needed. HTS cables operating at higher transmission voltage levels may offer a small footprint and low environmental impact option to move this electrical power over long distances to population centers.
Power grids around the world primarily operate in Alternating Current (AC) modes. Direct Current (DC) links exist for moving large amounts of power over very long distances and as interconnections between asynchronous grids. While HTS cables operate with near zero electrical resistance in AC networks, they are truly zero resistance in DC networks. This makes DC electrical links ideal for superconducting cables.