Tres Amigas partnering with fuel company

Sharna Johnson

Tres Amigas’ says its newest partnership with a fuel company will allow its planned superstation to provide users with uninterrupted power.

A spokesman said Tres Amigas announced has reached an agreement with Foundation Fuel to develop technical and operational strategies to firm renewable energy sources.

The plan is to deploy gas-fired power as a back up to add stability to the use of wind and solar power sources, according to a press release.

“Windmills and solar plants are intermittent. They only produce when the wind’s blowing and the sun is shining. You have a varying electrical output,” said Tres Amigas CEO Phil Harris by telephone Monday.

Tres Amigas plans to meld mathematical algorithms in software created by partner Viridity Energy Inc. with natural-gas-fired turbine generation facilities constructed by Foundation Fuel to create a seamless power output.

Harris said it will be the first of its kind in the nation.

“To the end user it just means they will have a steady supply of electricity regardless of what the sun or wind is doing,” he said.

Announced in October 2009, officials have said the project will be placed on public trust land — located northeast of Clovis, south of Curry Road 19 and west of N.M. 108 — and will create the nation’s first renewable energy trading hub using the latest power grid technologies, including DC superconductor power cables, HVDC voltage source converters and energy storage systems.

The power station is expected to bring almost 14,000 jobs and $2.6 billion to the community over a six-year construction phase. They also say the completed project will provide a long-term benefit of 1,400 jobs and $130 million annually to local economies.

The area, in addition to being rich in renewable energy sources such as wind and sun, is located near the Permian Basin in west Texas, one of the largest gas resources in the nation, the release said.