Tres Amigas LLC has announced that Mitsui & Co. Ltd., a Japanese global trading, IT and industrial infrastructure services company, has agreed to invest $12 million in the Tres Amigas SuperStation project, which will interconnect the U.S.' three primary electric grids (the Eastern Interconnection, Western Interconnection and Electric Reliability Council of Texas) and allow more renewable energy to be integrated into the power grid.
In exchange, Mitsui will obtain an equity position and actively participate. By partnering with Tres Amigas, Mitsui plans to further internationalize its ‘Smart Green Information Technology’ business model, which includes Smart Grid IT, renewable energy development and management, and CO2 emissions mitigation strategies.
Coordinated via market-based dispatch through the Tres Amigas SuperStation, the goal of the interconnection project is to create firm and reliable renewable energy from intermittent renewable sources such as wind and solar.
In addition, the new strategy will allow customers to purchase a reliable portfolio of power with the largest possible component of wind and solar, the companies say. Consequently, the clean generating capacities and the needs of varying regions – including the state's renewable portfolio standard requirements – will have more opportunities to be accommodated, according to Tres Amigas.
The build-out of the $1.5 billion SuperStation is expected to occur in stages. Engineering design for Phase I is well under way, with construction scheduled to commence in 2012 and Phase I commercial operations scheduled for 2015. The initial power transfer capacity will be 750 MW between the Western and Eastern grids.