Creating the Ability to Transmit Alternative Energy

Curry County could be home to power superstation
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Thursday, Sep 17 2009, 3:04 pm
CNJ staff
More than 14,000 acres of Curry County could become a power superstation, according to Public Lands Commissioner Patrick Lyons.

Lyons, in Clovis on Thursday, announced that Tres Amigas LLC has been given two years to evaluate the land, conduct soil testing, archeological surveys, study wildlife impact and pursue purchase and sales agreements.

At the end of that period, provided the evaluation goes well, the Western Electricity Coordinating Council, Electric Reliability Council of Texas and the Southwest Power Pool would merge into the Tres Amigas superstation.

The project could create several hundred construction jobs and at least 50 permanent jobs in Curry County, Lyons said.

“This is the first step,” he said.

The land — located northeast of Clovis, south of Curry Road 19 and west of N.M. 108 — is public trust land, Lyons said.

Tres Amigas will pay $30,803 for the two-year option.

Lyons signed an agreement Thursday that by 2014 would move renewable energy unobstructed through the South-central United States, 14 Western states, Alberta and British Columbia, and the northern tip of Baja California, Mexico.

“One of the biggest constraints on wind and solar power growth is the reduced capacity of the transmission grid to deliver energy to customers,” Lyons said in a press release about the project.

“This new transmission infrastructure will allow half of the United States to access vast wind and solar energy resources.”

According to a Tres Amigas publication, the project will create the nation’s first renewable energy trading hub utilizing the latest power grid technologies, including DC superconductor power cables, HVDC voltage source converters and energy storage systems.

New Mexico would produce 70,573 gigawatts annually.

The State Land Office manages 9 million acres of surface estate and 13 million acres of mineral rights held in trust, primarily for public education.

Revenues earned from energy production, farming and ranching leases, and community and business development on trust lands support public schools, seven universities, the New Mexico Military Institute, the New Mexico School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and the New Mexico School for the Deaf, along with three hospitals, correctional facilities, and water projects, the release said.

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