Enhancing Chicago’s electric grid resilience

62 MVA

of power carried in the cable

3,000 A

of AC current carried in the cable


American Superconductor (AMSC)







Operational since 2021, the Resilient Electric Grid (REG) project in Chicago aims to bolster the city’s electrical grid against extreme weather and catastrophic events. In collaboration with American Superconductor (AMSC) and Commonwealth Edison (ComEd), the project seeks to interconnect assets in downtown Chicago using superconducting cables. These cables offer high current density, compact installation footprint, and minimal environmental impact, making them ideal for densely populated urban areas.


The existing architecture of urban power distribution substations isolates them from each other to prevent cascading effects from fault currents. However, this limitation restricts the grid’s resiliency and recovery options during outages caused by severe weather or attacks. The project addresses the challenge of mitigating the impact on this critical infrastructure of power outages and blackouts.

12 kV

The cable operates at 12 kV.

3000 A

It carries an AC current of 3000 A.

62 MVA

It can carry up to 62 MVA of power, surpassing the capabilities of conventional resistive conductors like copper and aluminum.

Nexans implication

Nexans plays a crucial role in the REG project by designing, manufacturing, and installing the superconducting cable. Using AMSC’s proprietary Amperium high temperature (HTS) superconducting wire, Nexans produces a medium voltage cable capable of carrying high currents and power levels, which can operate at 12 kV. The cable carries an AC current of 3000 A and can carry up to 62 MVA of power, far exceeding what is possible with conventional resistive conductors such as copper and aluminum. The cable’s compact footprint and low environmental impact make it well-suited for urban deployment.


The HTS cable and the connection for the REG system were manufactured at Nexans’ specialized superconductor facility in Hanover, Germany. The power accessories were designed at Nexans’ Calais plant. AMSC is managing the project and has provided the liquid nitrogen refrigeration system, in addition to the Amperium HTS wire. The company’s collaboration with AMSC spans over 18 years, underscoring its commitment to advancing superconductor technology.

We’re excited to use this technology to strengthen critical energy infrastructure in downtown Chicago. This REG project affirms Nexans position as the world leader in HTS cable technology and demonstrates that superconducting, high-power, medium voltage cable technology is commercially viable. We have collaborated with AMSC on superconductor projects for over 18 years and are pleased to continue this long-standing and special partnership.

Jérôme Fournier
Jérôme Fournier

Corporate Vice President Innovation, Services, and Growth, Nexans

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