Highly anticipated renewable energy superstation in Curry County folds

Santa Fe, N.M. (Feb. 14, 2017) – State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn today announced that Tres Amigas, which planned to connect the nation’s three power grid systems with a superconducting high-voltage transmission link, has relinquished its lease on 14,400 acres of State Trust Lands in Curry County.

“I appreciate Tres Amigas’ efforts to help the country achieve its aggressive renewable energy goals, but they failed to meet certain benchmarks and abandoned their plan,” said Commissioner Dunn.

In 2010, Tres Amigas signed a 99-year lease that by 2014 was supposed to have moved wind and solar energy unobstructed through the South-Central United States, 14 Western states, Alberta and British Columbia, and the northern tip of Baja California, Mexico.

The flow of power, currently regulated by three regional electric transmission entities – the Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC), the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), and the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) – would have merged into, and flowed through, the Tres Amigas Superstation (TASS) located on State Trust Lands with Clovis as the center.

Energy producers, including renewable energy developers, are facing increased difficulties in acquiring sufficient access to the transmission assets required to take their power to market. The Tres Amigas Superstation would have functioned as an energy market hub and would have enabled utilities to purchase power from, and sell power to, each of the three electric grids.

Once operations commenced, Tres Amigas would have provided an average annual income stream to the State Land Office of $9.44 million.

Energy production, ranching and farming, and commercial development on 9 million acres of surface estate and 13 million mineral acres of State Trust Lands support public schools, the New Mexico Military Institute, the NM School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, the NM School for the Deaf, seven universities, three hospitals, correctional facilities, water conservation projects, and public building construction and repair.

Source: New Mexico State Land Office