We are a leading energy technologies company, offering an array of proprietary technologies and solutions spanning the electric power infrastructure—from generation to delivery to end use. We are a leader in alternative energy, providing proven, megawatt-scale wind turbine designs and electrical control systems. We also offer a host of Smart Grid infrastructure technologies for power grid operators that enhance the reliability, efficiency and capacity of the grid, and seamlessly integrate renewable energy sources into the power infrastructure. These include superconductor power cable systems, grid-level surge protectors and power electronics-based voltage stabilization systems. Our technologies are protected by a broad and deep intellectual property portfolio consisting of hundreds of patents and licenses worldwide.
Our company markets two primary, proprietary technologies: programmable power electronic converters and high temperature superconductor (HTS) wires. The programmability and scalability of our power electronic converters differentiates them from most competitive offerings. Our HTS wires carry 150 times the electrical current of comparably sized copper wire. The two primary markets we serve are the wind energy market and the power transmission and distribution—or “power grid”—market.
The demand for clean and renewable sources of electricity, such as wind energy, and the demand for modernized, “smart” grids are being driven globally by a variety of factors. These factors include increasing electricity usage, power grid capacity constraints, fossil fuel price volatility, and harmful levels of pollution and greenhouse gases. In addition, our growing digital-based economy demands better power reliability and quality. Concerns about these factors have led to increased spending by corporations and supportive government regulations and initiatives on local, state, national and global levels, including renewable portfolio standards, tax incentives and international treaties.
We conduct our operations through two business units:
•AMSC Power Systems. AMSC Power Systems (“Power Systems”) produces a broad range of products to increase electrical grid capacity and reliability; supplies electrical systems used in wind turbines; sells power electronic products that regulate wind farm voltage to enable their interconnection to the power grid; licenses proprietary wind turbine designs to manufacturers of such systems; provides consulting services to the wind industry; and offers products that enhance power quality for industrial operations.
•AMSC Superconductors. AMSC Superconductors (“Superconductors”) manufactures HTS wire and coils; designs and develops superconductor products, such as power cables, fault current limiters and motors; and manages large-scale superconductor projects.
Our fiscal year begins on April 1 and ends on March 31. This document refers to fiscal 2008, which is the period beginning on April 1, 2008 and concluding on March 31, 2009. Likewise, fiscal 2007 began on April 1, 2007 and concluded on March 31, 2008. Other fiscal years follow similarly.
Our strategy is to drive revenue growth and enhance operating results by increasing adoption of our products.
•Target High-Growth Segments with Commercial Products. We target high-growth segments of the power and utility industry. Our Power Systems offerings are designed to meet the needs of the wind energy market, which is expected to more than double in size from 2008 to 2015, according to the latest forecasts from the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). Our HTS and grid-support solutions fill the needs of capacity-constrained transmission assets globally and address the demand for more reliable, secure and efficient transmission and distribution assets. The Brattle Group has reported that the U.S. transmission grid will require an investment of more than $230 billion from 2010 to 2030 and that the U.S. distribution grid will require an additional $675 billion of investment over this timeframe.
•Pursue Overseas Markets. We are increasingly focusing our sales efforts on overseas markets and have been successful in targeting business in emerging economies, such as China, India and South Korea.
We also have built significant sales momentum in countries where dynamic voltage standards for wind farms have been put in place, such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. In fiscal 2008, 84 percent of our revenues came from sales outside the United States compared with 74 percent in fiscal 2007. In support of this expansion, we maintain operations in Austria, China and the United States and sales and service support centers in Germany, Singapore and Australia.
•Anticipate Customer Needs in the Development of System-Level Solutions. We develop close working relationships with our customers that enable us to provide customized solutions and identify opportunities to employ our products. Our Network Solutions team collects and analyzes data regarding our customers’ systems—from entire power grids to wind farms to manufacturing operations dependent on premium quality power. For example, our Network Solutions team carries out dynamic simulations for customers on the effects power grid disturbances may have on grid reliability under all operating conditions. They then can quantify how the incorporation of Flexible AC Transmission Systems (FACTS), such as static Volt Amp Reactive (VAR) compensators (SVCs) and dynamic VAR (Statcom) systems, and advanced technologies, such as superconductor cables and fault current limiters (FCLs), can improve power grid operations. The group performs similar analyses to determine the optimum power quality solutions for industrial manufacturing sites and wind farms.
•Strengthen Our Technology Leadership While Lowering Cost. We work continuously to strengthen our leadership position in terms of reliability, cost and total product offering. We interact with our customers and suppliers not only to improve the performance and efficiency of our Power Systems solutions, but also to reduce material and manufacturing costs. In addition, we maintain a vigorous research and development effort that continues to yield increases in electrical and mechanical performance of our 344 superconductors, which has been demonstrated at levels that are comparable to or better than our 1G HTS wire. We continue to achieve productivity enhancements in our manufacturing of 344 superconductors, which we believe will eventually enable us to manufacture this wire at approximately one-fifth the cost of our 1G HTS wire.
•Pursue Targeted Strategic Acquisitions and Alliances. We will continue to pursue strategic business relationships and acquisitions that complement our product portfolio and increase our rate of growth. We have built strategic alliances and close corporate relationships with many industry leaders including LS Cable, Nexans, Shanghai Electric Cable Research Institute (SECRI), Siemens, Southwire, TECO-Westinghouse Motor Company and Vestas to develop and commercialize our products and to bring them to market. We also have been successful in closing key acquisitions, including Windtec and Power Quality Systems, Inc. in calendar 2007. The Windtec acquisition has provided increased access to the growing wind market and has complemented sales of our dynamic VAR (D-VAR®) and PowerModuleTM power electronics products in the wind market. The Power Quality Systems acquisition enhanced our reactive compensation product offerings for utility and industrial customers.
Our products and services address two substantial global demands:
•the demand for cleaner, renewable sources of electricity, such as wind power, and
•the demand for a modernized, “smart” power grid infrastructure to alleviate capacity constraints and improve reliability, security, stability and efficiency of electricity.
As of March 31, 2009, we employed a total of 519 persons, 23 of whom have a Ph.D. in materials science, physics or other fields. None of our employees are represented by a labor union. Retaining our key employees is important for achieving our goals, and we are committed to developing a working environment that motivates and rewards our employees.