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Tres Amigas Reaches Deal With First Customer

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Tres Amigas and Broadview Energy recently announced agreements have been reached in a move designed to guarantee the viability of the project that backers hope will lead to the development and construction of up to 500 megawatts of wind energy generation in northeast New Mexico.

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Minneapolis-based NRS LLC is the manager/developer for Broadview Energy, with currently has about 2,000 megawatts in active development around the country, and a history of successful wind farm development, principally in Midwest and Western states.

“Our associate, Robert Walker, has been working on acquiring the transmission path from New Mexico to California for several years,” said Patrick Petstring, chief executive of National Renewable Solutions. “Fortunately we are able to use these transmission rights for the Broadview Energy KW project. By signing these agreements with Tres Amigas, we now have all the necessary pieces in place to be able to deliver power into California on existing transmission lines. And our project provides great diversity relative to California's in-state renewable generation.”

The agreement, announced Feb. 4, provides for Broadview, which is Tres Amigas’ first customer, to deliver its New Mexico wind power to California for the next 25 years. The deal also enables the project to use the additional services that will be offered by Tres Amigas when the Super Station project becomes operational.

The Tres Amigas SuperStation focuses on uniting North America’s two major power grids — the Eastern Interconnection and the Western Interconnection as well as the smaller Texas Interconnection — to more quickly integrate renewable energy into the grid and increase reliability of the grid.

Broadview, in development since 2011, is an 80,000-acre utility scale wind development project in Curry County, N.M. And Deaf Smith County, Texas, owned in the majority by the landowners in the local community. Power from the wind farm is expected to be delivered over Broadview’s interconnection with Tres Amigas by December 2015.

Its 20 megawatt first phase, Brahms Wind, is planned for operation in the first quarter of 2014. Its 12-turbine first phase, Brahms Wind, is 5 miles south of Grady, N.M. The second phase is about 39,000 acres northeast of the Brahms Wind project. The second phase, which will build upon this agreement, will be named Broadview Energy KW.

Construction costs are expected to be about $1.2 billion for Tres Amigas and more than $550 million for Broadview’s wind farm. The project will install more than 200 General Electric wind turbines, working with Mortenson Construction as its contractor.

The second phase is expected to create more than 200 construction jobs and about 20 permanent full-time jobs in construction maintenance, scientific research, clean energy technologies, and many permanent positions at its Albuquerque headquarters. The project seeks to incentivize new energy providers throughout the country to commit to new construction by providing a nationwide marketplace for the energy they produce.

Last August, Tres Amigas unveiled its buried High Voltage Direct Current electric transmission network plans for New Mexico. The project intends to connect energy programs and resources in the U.S. Southwest’s Four Corners region with the utility grid in the West as well as the Eastern and Texas Interconnections. Phase two of the project, collectively called “The New Mexico Express,” would connect southern New Mexico with the new HVDC connection, from Eddy County to Tres Amigas at Clovis, N.M.

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