- An initial phase of a $1.6 billion transmission line will begin moving wind power from New Mexico into California next year, the first section of a controversial project to bring more carbon-free energy to the Golden State, the Albuquerque Business First reports.
- Tres Amigas is a proposed high-voltage direct current project which will ultimately link three segments of the U.S. grid, the Eastern Interconnection, the Western Interconnection, and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.
- But the project remains in flux, and in June, Pattern Energy Group announced plans it was acquiring a 99% ownership interest in the Western Interconnect transmission line for less than $270 million.
It's a huge project, but as Albquerque Business First puts it, the $1.6 billion Tres Amigas project is "quietly moving forward." In June Pattern Energy Group acquired a 99% interest in the western line as well as a 324 MW wind farm.
“This world-class wind project will deliver attractively-priced power directly into the California market under two 20-year contracts with Southern California Edison,” Pattern President and CEO Mike Garland said in a statement.
Tres Amigas would link the Eastern Interconnection, the Western Interconnection, and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas grids to deliver wind and solar generation into California and other demand centers.
Pattern's acquisition of a portion of the project gives it a 12% bump in its owned capacity. Garland said the company identified the deal earlier this year as a project that would increase its cash available for distribution. " We can meet the funding requirements for the acquisition with a portion of our currently available cash and liquidity and from new project financing facilities," he said. "Our commitment is to provide dividends, especially in uncertain markets, and this project supports that commitment.”
The Broadview wind farm will utilize 141 Siemens 2.3 MW wind turbines and is capable of generating 324 MW of energy, but its output will be limited to 297 MW at the project’s transmission interconnection point.