American Superconductor Corp was founded on April, 1987. The Company is a provider of megawatt-scale solutions. In the wind power market, it enables manufacturers to field competitive wind turbines through its power electronics products, engineering, and support services. In the power grid market, it enables electric utilities and renewable energy project developers to connect, transmit and distribute power through its transmission planning services and power electronics and superconductor-based products. It manufactures products using two proprietary core technologies: PowerModule programmable power electronic converters and its Amperium high temperature superconductor ("HTS") wires. Its operating business segments are Wind and Grid. Through its Windtec Solutions, its Wind business segment enables manufacturers to field wind turbines with exceptional power output, reliability and affordability. It supplies power electronics and control systems, license its engineered wind turbine designs, and provide extensive customer support services to wind turbine manufacturers. Its design portfolio includes a broad range of drive trains and power ratings of 2 megawatts ("MW") and higher. Through its Gridtec Solutions, its Grid business segment enables electric utilities and renewable energy project developers to connect, transmit and distribute power with exceptional efficiency, reliability, security and affordability. It faces competition from companies offering wind turbine electrical system components, which include ABB, General Electric, Guotong Electric, Ingeteam, Mita-Teknik and Woodward. It also faces indirect competition in the wind energy market frommanufacturers of wind turbines, such as Gamesa, General Electric, Suzlon and Vestas. It faces competition for the supply of wind turbine engineering design services from design engineering firms such as GL Garrad Hassan, and from licensors of wind turbine systems such as Aerodyn and AventisEnergy. It faces competition from other companies offering FACTS systems similar to its D-VAR solutions. These include static var compensators ("SVCs") from ABB, Alstom, AREVA, Mitsubishi Electric and Siemens; adaptive VAR compensators and STATCOMs produced by ABB, Siemens, and S&C Electric; Dynamic voltage restorers ("DVRs") produced by companies such as ABB and S&C Electric; and flywheels and battery-based uninterruptable power supply ("UPS") systems offered by various companies. It faces competition both from suppliers of traditional wires made from materials such as copper and from companies who are developing HTS wires. It also faces competition for its Amperium wire from a number of companies in the United States and abroad who are developing 2G HTS wire technology. These include Innova, MetOx, Superconductor Technologies and Superpower (a subsidiary of Furukawa) in the United States; Fujikura, Showa and Sumitomo in Japan; SuNAM in South Korea; and Bruker, evico GmbH and Nexans in Europe. Certain companies, including evico GmbH, Nexans, Showa and Sumitomo Electric, have been focusing their research programs more recently on the development of 2G HTS wire made by the same or similar processes it has chosen to use to manufacture its Amperium wire.
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