Sunday, November 1, 2009

New Mexico Tres Amigas project intended to efficiently connect the three USA electric grids and allow for more widespread distribution of renewable generated electricity

Among the criticisms leveled against some forms of renewable energy is that the resources for generating such power are not evenly distributed and that the areas most suitable for wind and large scale solar power generation are far from population centers. 

Electricity can be sent from place to place however currently within the USA there are three distinct power grids with little or no inter-connectivity between them.

The Tres Amigas project in New Mexico is intended to connect the three grids to allow power generated within the territory of one grid to be efficiently transmitted to another grid.

From TresAmigas LLC:
Tres Amigas, LLC is uniting the electric grid.  Utilizing the latest advances in power grid technology, Tres Amigas is focused on providing the first common interconnection of America’s three power grids to help the country achieve its renewable energy goals and facilitate the smooth, reliable and efficient transfer of green power from region to region.  Tres Amigas, LLC is a merchant transmission entity composed of electric utility industry operational, technology and thought leaders.  More information is available at

The Tres Amigas SuperStation will act as a power market hub, enabling the buying and selling of electricity between the nation’s three Interconnections, which is not possible today.  Wind, solar, hydro and geothermal renewable energy sources that do not currently have access to transmission lines and/or customers will be able to tap into multiple markets through the Tres Amigas SuperStation.  For example, regions rich in solar energy will be able to buy electricity at night, when the sun is not shining, from regions rich in wind energy.  As a merchant transmission system, Tres Amigas will charge a fee for usage of the power hub.

The Tres Amigas renewable energy market hub will be constructed in Clovis, New Mexico, a location that has easy access to all three of the nation’s power grids.   New Mexico’s State Land Office already has granted Tres Amigas, LLC the right to lease 14,400 acres (22.5 square miles) of land in Clovis for this system.  Tres Amigas, LLC is now in the process of filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for a declaratory order that transmission lines that connect to Tres Amigas from ERCOT will not come under the jurisdiction of FERC and that Tres Amigas can be operated as a merchant transmission entity.

Thanks to Cindy Weehler of Energia Mia for passing along information about this project.

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