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This paper presents the worldwide developments of superconducting magnetic energy storage (SMES) devices. The application solutions of SMES technology for future smart grids are further discussed. The application topologies and advantages of SMES for micro grids, transmission and distribution systems are briefly described. The application scheme of hybrid energy storage systems (ESSs) and distributed SMES (D-SMES) devices are proposed and discussed to combine the advantages from small-scale SMES devices and other conventional ESSs, and to achieve better performance in practical power applications. Finally, the integrated solutions for smart grids are proposed, and the basic functions and application schemes of SMES devices are initially presented and discussed.