SANTA FE – Governor Bill Richardson today announced that New Mexico will be home to the Tres Amigas Super Station, which will connect America’s three main power grids – opening the door to more efficient delivery of renewable energy through the nation’s power transmission infrastructure.
“New Mexico leads the way in green and renewable energy development,” Governor Bill Richardson said. “But we need the ability to send energy produced in New Mexico to surrounding states. Tres Amigas will break that barrier, creating a larger market for our energy. New Mexico is proud to be chosen as the site for this unique renewable energy market hub.”
“The United States is embarking on an aggressive renewable energy plan, yet we lack a national transmission backbone to support our vision,” U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman stated. “By tying the nation’s three power grids together, the Tres Amigas station will catalyze the adoption of renewable power while at the same time increasing the reliability of our electricity network, which is fundamental to the expansion of the U.S. economy.”
The Tres Amigas Super Station will be comprised of three voltage-source AC/DC power converters, which will be connected by up to 20 miles of gigawatt-scale superconductor DC power cables, creating a triangular electricity pathway. This pathway will be similar to highway rotaries that are used to control traffic flow. In the case of Tres Amigas, multiple power transmission lines will carry power from each of the three national power grids into and out of the Tres Amigas Super Station, allowing balancing of power between the three different grids. Tres Amigas will help ensure the smooth, uninterrupted flow of power from multiple generation sources in all three-power grids to customers across a wide area of the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
Governor Richardson noted that high temperature superconductor wire, a core technology for Tres Amigas, has been developed by New Mexico’s Los Alamos National Laboratory during the past 22 years. “It is gratifying to see a technology that has roots in our own state now being put to use in solving the nation’s power gridlock – and doing so right in our own back yard at Tres Amigas.”
Tres Amigas was conceived by Phil Harris, the former CEO of PJM Interconnection, which serves 14 states and is the world’s largest control area with over 240,000 megawatts of power under management. “To truly open up the market for electricity generated from renewable sources of energy,” said Harris, now CEO of Tres Amigas, LLC, “we must enhance transmission in the United States. Utilizing the latest advances in power grid technology, Tres Amigas will serve as a renewable energy market hub by connecting all three of America’s power grids to enable the transfer of green power from region to region. The system also will add a new level of reliability and security for U.S. power supplies and will be expandable to dozens of gigawatts of power transfer as more renewable power generation sites are developed.”
About Tres Amigas LLC
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 www.tresamigasllc.com.
About American Superconductor
American Superconductor Corporation (NASDAQ: AMSC), a global energy technologies company, is part owner of Tres Amigas LLC and will provide superconductor electricity pipelines and transmission planning expertise for the Tres Amigas Super Station. AMSC offers an array of proprietary technologies and solutions spanning the electric power infrastructure – from generation to delivery to end-use. The company is a leader in alternative energy, providing proven, megawatt-scale wind turbine designs and electrical control systems. The company also offers a host of Smart Grid technologies for power grid operators that enhance the reliability, efficiency and capacity of the grid, and seamlessly integrate renewable energy sources into the power infrastructure. These include superconductor power cable systems, grid-level surge protectors and power electronics-based voltage stabilization systems. AMSC’s technologies are protected by a broad and deep intellectual property portfolio consisting of hundreds of patents and licenses worldwide. More information is available at www.amsc.com.