Tres Amigas, as seen by their hometown newspaper The Santa Fe New Mexican, “Supersized power hub in southeastern N.M. to link 3 major U.S. grids“:
Phil Harris is masterminding an electricity superhighway — a facility near Clovis that will connect the nation’s three main power grids for the first time.
The Tres Amigas Superstation will link the Western Interconnection, Eastern Interconnection and Texas Interconnection at a point in southeastern New Mexico. It also will provide the transmission capacity that power managers say is needed to handle the renewable energy expected from new solar and wind sources.
The hub will allow energy to flow between the grids via superconductor cables in underground pipelines and AC/DC converters….
One of the problems is the current system for delivering power across the country is complex and separated by region. The lack of connection limits competition in power markets, Harris said. “In the U.S., no one is in charge. We have over 4,000 entities involved with power.”
Those entities include investor-owned utilities such as Public Service Company of New Mexico, 800 municipal power companies, 900 electric cooperatives, renewable energy generators and power traders such as Goldman Sachs. Regulations vary by group. So do power interconnections.
“There’s no way you can get a single decision about what is best for America,” Harris said.
“People are paying more (for electricity) than they should because it is a constrained market,” he added.
Tres Amigas will make the power market more competitive. Harris is banking on it, to the tune of investing $1 million of his own money in the project, he said.