Tuesday, October 13, 2009

New Mexico Clean Power Hub Adopting Superconductor Pipelines

New Mexico governor Bill Richardson is announcing today that the Tres Amigas SuperStation hub, the first connection among all three United States major power grids, will use superconduction technology to transfer and balance the transfer of gigawatts of electric power from one region of the nation to the other two. The United States electric power transmission infrastructure is divided into three main grids, or interconnections: the Eastern, Western and Texas Interconnections. There are a few locations where two of the three can share power across their geographical boundaries, but there is nowhere yet that a sharing arrangement among all three exists.

That is about to change. Tres Amigas SuperStation, to be built on 22.5 square miles of land near Clovis, New Mexico, is one place having easy access to power from all three interconnections. The project is designed to use a triangular arrangement of underground direct current superconducting electric power "pipelines" to enable all three regional grids to share and balance power transmission. Such an interchange is required to make it possible for clean hydroelectric, wind, and solar power generated in less populated areas of our country to be efficiently sold in more populated locations. The successful implementation of any of the cap and trade proposals now pending in Congress will require the existence of the Tres Amigas Superstation, or something like it.

Tres Amigas has already received the right to lease the 22.5 square miles from the New Mexico State Land Office, and is in the process of filing for FERC permission to operate as a merchant transfer entity, allowing Tres Amigas to charge a fee for power transfers across its hub.
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