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The 30 MJ superconducting magnetic energy storage (SMES) system was installed in the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) Tacoma Substation in 1982-83. Operation of the unit since that time has been for over 1200 hours. Specific tests to explore the SMES system's thermal and electrical characteristics and the control functions were conducted. The coil heat load with current modulation was determined. A converter with two 6-pulse bridges interfaces the superconducting coil to the power bus. Equal bridge voltage amplitude and constant reactive power modes of operation of the system were run with computer control of the SCR bridge firing angles. Coil energy dump tests were performed. Electrical grid system response to SMES modulation was observed, and full power SMES modulation was undertaken.