Alstom Grid to provide Tres Amigas with first-of-its-kind Smart Grid SuperStation

Source: Alstom

Alstom Grid has been awarded a contract worth approximately EUR150 million (US$218 million) by Tres Amigas LLC to deliver High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) converter and Automation technology as well as high availability system maintenance services for the first stage of the Tres Amigas SuperStation project in New Mexico, U.S. 

The SuperStation, a first-of-its-kind power transmission hub, will ultimately interconnect America’s three primary electricity grids, the Eastern (Southwest Power Pool), Western (Western Electricity Coordinating Council) and Texas (Electric Reliability Council of Texas) networks, facilitating the transfer of clean, renewable power from region to region. In addition to strengthening the reliability, transmission efficiency and capacity of the grids, the Smart Grid SuperStation will ensure stability when intermittent power sources such as wind, solar and geothermal are harnessed. 

Under the contract, Alstom Grid will supply a 750 megawatt, 345 kilovolt Direct Current converter scheme for the SuperStation, utilizing its latest Voltage Source Converter (VSC) technology. Alstom Grid’s VSC is ideally suited for applications such as the connection of wind farms, whether onshore or offshore, and for the development of multi-terminal power grids. 

This industry-leading project is the first large-scale connection between the three separate US power grids, and represents the largest transmission Smart Grid project in the U.S today. Besides immediate efficiency and reliability improvements, it will also have an electrical market system to help drive long-term competition between the regional grids, bringing benefits to residents, not only in the Southwest, but also across the Country.
“Tres Amigas is pleased to formalize the long-term working relationship with Alstom Grid for the realization of the first phase of the Tres Amigas SuperStation,” said Phil Harris, CEO and founder of Tres Amigas, LLC. He added, “Alstom’s Voltage Source Converter technology offers the specific technical advantages required to make this interconnection a success both from an economic and ecological point of view. Alstom Grid has exhibited the engineering acumen and understanding necessary to enable the three U.S. interconnections to be united in a reliable and cost effective manner.” 

“Alstom Grid is highly honoured to accompany Tres Amigas for the realisation of the Tres Amigas SuperStation”, stated Henri Poupart-Lafarge, President of Alstom Grid. “By connecting different networks, Tres Amigas SuperStation will shape a more reliable and more efficient grid. We look forward to contributing our expertise in power electronics and automation, two technologies at the heart of Smart & Super Grids worldwide, , to the success of this ambitious project”. 

Engineering design for the transmission interconnection is underway, with construction scheduled to commence by 2012, and commercial operations expected in 2014.

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