Engineering support for Tres Amigas SuperStation
Engineering support for Tres Amigas SuperStation
Engineering support for Tres Amigas SuperStation
08/30/2010 2 minute read

Burns & McDonnell engineers a first-of-its-kind transmission hub that connects eastern, western and Texas electric grids.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Burns & McDonnell and Tres Amigas LLC announced today that Burns & McDonnell has been selected to provide engineering design and development support services for the Tres Amigas SuperStation, a first-of-its-kind power transmission hub that will link America's three primary electric transmission grids — the Eastern (Southwest Power Pool), Western (Western Electricity Coordinating Council) and Texas (Electric Reliability Council Of Texas) Interconnections. The project, to be located in Clovis, N.M, near the Texas and New Mexico border, will enhance the reliability of the country's electricity network and facilitate the efficient transfer of clean energy between regions.

Burns & McDonnell will immediately begin conceptual engineering design and system studies necessary for transmission interconnection. Construction is expected to commence in 2012 and the SuperStation is scheduled to begin commercial operations by 2014.

"Tres Amigas is engaging the world's elite engineering, project management and technology organizations to connect America's balkanized power grids for the first time ever with the Tres Amigas SuperStation," said Phil Harris, CEO and founder of Tres Amigas, LLC. "Burns & McDonnell's reputation in the power industry is unparalleled. We are sure to benefit greatly from their vast experience and engineering services."

"This will be one of the most groundbreaking projects in power delivery in our generation," said Jeff Greig, vice president and general manager of Business & Technology Services for Burns & McDonnell. "Burns & McDonnell is excited to have a role in a project that will combine an innovative concept and advanced technology to deliver enormous amounts of renewable energy in an efficient, reliable and economic manner throughout the United States."

Burns & McDonnell has significant depth of experience in designing and managing the construction of large-scale, high voltage power transmission projects throughout North America. It was the No. 1 ranked transmission and distribution engineering firm in Engineering News-Record magazine in 2010.

The Tres Amigas SuperStation will incorporate a network of underground high voltage direct current superconductor cables and AC/DC converters capable of transmitting energy and balancing power loads between the three grids. It would be located on a 22-square-mile site in Clovis and would initially have capacity to transmit up to 5 gigawatts of power.

When operational, the SuperStation will serve to improve power reliability and solve voltage and stability problems caused by the intermittent generation of renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal. It will have significant reactive power capability that can be controlled at each interconnection, improving stability, transfer capability and transmission efficiency.

Based in Santa Fe, N.M., Tres Amigas LLC is a business backed by a number of prominent investors and partners, including American Superconductor, AltEnergy LLC, Z Global Engineering & Energy Solutions, Viridity Energy, London Economics, and Steptoe & Johnson.

About Tres Amigas LLC

Tres Amigas LLC is uniting the nation's electric grid. Utilizing the latest advances in power grid technology, Tres Amigas is focused on providing the first common interconnection of America's three power grids to help the country achieve its renewable energy goals and facilitate the smooth, reliable and efficient transfer of green power from region to region. Tres Amigas LLC is a merchant transmission entity composed of electric utility industry operational, technology and thought leaders. More information is available at

About Burns & McDonnell

Burns & McDonnell provides engineering, architecture, construction, environmental and consulting services to clients throughout North America and abroad. More than 3,000 engineers, architects, scientists, planners, estimators, economists, technicians and other professionals work in more than 20 offices located throughout the U.S. Founded in 1898, Burns & McDonnell is 100 percent employee-owned. For more information about Burns & McDonnell, visit its website at

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