The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will provide up to $25 million of the total project cost of $39.3 million to develop technology for “Secure Super Grids.” The new grids will use customized HTS wires, power cables and ancillary controls to deliver more power while suppressing power surges that can disrupt service.
Testing of the first secure grid system is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2008. The project’s next phase will focus on deployment of the first grid system at an undisclosed New York City location.
American Superconductor will supply HTS wire, known as 344 superconductors, for the project, and will contract with Southwire Co. for cable and termination designs as well as the manufacture of superconductor cable. Commissioning of the 13-kilovolt HTS cable system is expected in early 2010
Here is a pdf that describes the benefits of a superconducting power grid. Up ten times the power can be transmitted when the current copper wire is replaced with the same size superconducting cable. Power can be switched in milliseconds.