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Alliant Energy Places Order for D-SMES Unit; American Superconductor's Distributed Power Technology to Increase Grid Reliability.

Business/Technology Editors

MIDDLETON, Wisc.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 30, 2000

American Superconductor (Nasdaq: AMSC) announced today an order from Alliant Energy (NYSE: LNT) for a Distributed Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage (D-SMES) unit. This D-SMES unit will be used to improve the reliability on a portion of Alliant Energy's power transmission grid in Wisconsin and is scheduled for installation this summer. Alliant Energy serves over 1.3 million utility customers in Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota and Illinois.

The D-SMES product stores electricity from the power grid in a coil of superconducting wire. When distributed at substations throughout a power grid, these units act as virtual generators - ready to inject power back into the grid instantaneously to maintain reliability when power fluctuates, for example during lightning storms. The D-SMES unit for Alliant Energy will have an instantaneous real power output of three megawatts, along with 14 MVAR of instantaneous reactive power output - a combination that is more than sufficient to clean up local power fluctuations. A typical industrial emergency back-up generator has a real power output of one megawatt.

"This distributed power technology offering has wide applicability within the evolving utility environment because it allows utilities to defer construction of overhead power lines while improving system reliability and increasing power transfer capability," stated Dr. Greg Yurek, president and chief executive officer of American Superconductor. "Being not only a distributed resource, but also one that is mobile makes D-SMES the quickest, lowest cost and most effective solution for power reliability and capacity needs."

Working with Alliant Energy's planning staff, American Superconductor performed an analysis of Alliant Energy's power network in the Reedsburg, Wisconsin area in order to identify the least cost solution to voltage challenges in the area. Siting the D-SMES unit in Reedsburg promises to improve voltage stability in the region, thereby greatly reducing the probability of voltage related power outages this summer to customers in the Reedsburg and Wisconsin Dells sector of the grid. Alliant Energy will continue to monitor the increased demand for power and voltage performance of the grid over the next 6-9 months to determine if additional units are needed in this area.

"American Superconductor's D-SMES system will allow Alliant Energy to proactively address a potential system reliability issue with a distributed power technology solution that represents the lowest total cost of ownership," said Joe Ell, Team Leader of Delivery System Planning at Alliant Energy. "D-SMES provides us the flexibility to adapt to future system configuration changes while meeting our customers energy requirements. We are also exploring other applications for D-SMES on our system."

Alliant Energy

Alliant Energy Corporation is a growing energy-services provider with domestic and international operations. Headquartered in Madison, Wis., Alliant Energy provides electric, natural-gas, water and steam services to more than two million customers worldwide. Alliant Energy Resources, Inc., the home of the company's non-utility businesses, has operations and investments throughout the United States as well as in Australia, Brazil, China, Mexico and New Zealand. For more information, please see www.alliantenergy.com.

Alliant Energy press contacts:

David Giroux at (608) 252-3924 or

Melanie Schmidt at (608) 252-3187.

American Superconductor

American Superconductor Corporation, headquartered in Westborough, Mass., was founded in 1987 and is a world leader in developing and manufacturing products utilizing superconducting materials for electric power applications. The company's products, and products sold by electrical equipment manufacturers that incorporate its products, can dramatically increase the capacity and reliability of power delivery networks, significantly reduce the manufacturing costs of electrical equipment such as motors and generators, lower electrical operating costs and conserve resources that are used to produce electric power. American Superconductor manufactures its SMES product line in Middleton, Wisconsin. For more information, please see www.amsuper.com.

Certain statements in this release, including statements containing the words "believes," "anticipates," "plans," "expects," "will" and similar expressions, constitute forward looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. There are a number of important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include the uncertainties that : the company will be able to obtain the anticipated funding from corporate and government contracts; the company will be able to successfully develop and manufacture commercial products; a robust market will develop for the company's products; and the company will secure anticipated orders. Additionally such factors include: the risk that strategic alliances and other contracts may be terminated; the risk that certain technologies utilized by the company will infringe intellectual property rights of others; the competition encountered by the company, including several large Japanese companies; the amount and timing of the company's future cash requirements and the availability of satisfactory financing sources. Reference is made to these and other factors discussed in the "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operation" section of the company's periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1U1MA
Date:Mar 30, 2000
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