T&D World Magazine

Tres Amigas Superstation Contracts for HVDC Converter, Automation

Alstom Grid has been awarded a contract worth approximately €150 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 MW, 345 kV Direct Current converter scheme, using its latest Voltage Source Converter (VSC) technology. Alstom Grid’s VSC is suited for applications such as the connection of wind farms, whether onshore or offshore, and for the development of multi-terminal power grids.

This project is the first large-scale connection between the three separate U.S. power grids, and represents the largest transmission Smart Grid project in the United States 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.

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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