"Proposal to Link the Nation's Grid Sparks a Debate"

"The Tres Amigas transmission project in New Mexico, which seeks to link the nation's three power grids to share wind power across the United States, has attracted both eager allies and some determined foes.

Scandia Wind Southwest LLC, a venture led by Norwegian wind power developers, has proposed to build an initial 2,250 megawatts of wind power in the Texas Panhandle, with a potential capacity of 10,000 MW. That amount of power, the equivalent of 10 large nuclear power plants, could move into the Eastern and Western grid interconnections, and to Texas' independent grid, over the Tres Amigas transmission linkage.

The Tres Amigas project would operate three power switching hubs connected by several miles of superconducting direct-current lines, on a 22.5-square-mile section near Clovis, N.M., adjoining Texas and Oklahoma. The hubs would direct power flows in and out of the three regions, whose electrical systems are not synchronized, creating bridges for electric power to flow across the entire country, wherever transmission capacity permitted."

Peter Behr reports for ClimateWire February 3, 2010.

Thursday, February 4, 2010