MIT Technology Review covers a proposed hub for connecting the three independent electricity grids that span the continental United States could make it easier to ramp up production of renewable electricity.
Only a fraction of 1 percent of the electricity generated in the United States can currently be transferred between the grids, and there is no direct connection between Texas and the Western grid. The Tres Amigas station, which will connect all three grids together in one place for the first time, will initially more than double the ability to transfer power between them, providing five gigawatts of capacity. Eventually, the station is expected to transfer as much as 30 gigawatts of power.
A recent proposal to link the eastern, western and Texas grids together to create a national, alt-energy-friendly supergrid has sparked the interest of utilities and energy insiders, such as former energy secretary Bill Richardson. Can a high-tech substation in New Mexico create a smarter, unified grid? Not if Texas doesn’t cooperate.