Copper clad steel alternative to solid copper

CommScope to supply two wind farm projects with GroundSmart copper clad steel grounding wire.

Hickory, N.C.—CommScope Inc., a provider of infrastructure solutions for communications networks, will supply two wind farm projects with its GroundSmart copper clad steel solution, an alternative to solid and stranded copper that is increasingly in demand by utilities for its cost-efficiency and anti-theft characteristics.

The first project is the Breckenridge Wind Farm, located outside Breckenridge, Mich. in Gratiot County. The 30,000-acre wind farm will use stranded copper clad steel in the ground grid collector system. It is estimated to produce 200 megawatts of wind energy, which has the capacity to power nearly 54,000 homes.

The second project scheduled to use CommScope’s GroundSmart solution is the Rolling Hills Wind Farm near Massena, Iowa. It is estimated to be one of the largest wind farms under construction in the state.

“As renewable energy continues to increase in popularity, developers are racing to keep up with the demand by constructing new wind farms throughout the country,” said Ric Johnsen, senior vice president, Broadband, CommScope. “These two projects are vital to the areas they serve and developers see GroundSmart as a simple solution to reducing projects costs without compromising the system’s integrity. These contracts also demonstrate that GroundSmart continues to gain acceptance in grounding applications.”

Copper clad steel provides a safe, highly reliable alternative to the use of solid and stranded copper for grounding applications. Copper clad steel is specifically designed to disperse fault currents and lightning strikes at a lower total cost of ownership compared to pure copper. It’s an electrical conductor that has an outer sleeve of copper metallurgically bonded to a solid steel core.

GroundSmart copper clad steel benefits from a specialized CommScope BiMetals technology and manufacturing process. The products are created by bonding two different metals into a single conductor, resulting in a low-cost and light-weight alternative to using solid copper.

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