Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Transmission: "An Electric 'Game Changer' Gets FERC Scrutiny " (AMSC; GRID; PNM)

In October we said about American Superconductor:
I'm starting to think that this is one of those stocks that always seem overpriced.
I passed on Berkshire Hathaway the first time it was shown to me, at $800/share.
As one of my mentors used to say, "Stocks are smarter than analysts (fund managers, etc.).
Yesterday the stock set a new 52-week high of $42.69. Here's the latest on the Tres Amigas project from ClimateWire via the New York Times:
A proposal to move large amounts of wind and solar power out of the Southwest by linking the three separate North American electricity grids with state-of-the-art switching terminals and superconducting cables is now in hands of federal regulators.

Tres Amigas LLC has petitioned the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for two key rulings that it says will determine whether the potentially pathbreaking project goes forward. One decision would allow Tres Amigas to charge generators competitive rates rather than cost-based charges to move power over a triangular network of high-voltage direct-current lines it plans to build near Clovis, N.M., 1 mile from the Texas border.

Terminals at each point of the triangle would be access points into the three separately synchronized grids -- the Eastern Interconnection east of the Rocky Mountains, the Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC) west of the Rockies, and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the statewide grid that Texas maintains to prevent federal regulation of its utility industry.

"That region of the country has 80 gigawatts of renewable energy potential. It's massive," said Phillip Harris, architect of the Tres Amigas plan. "And this nation needs that to meet all the climate issues, environmental issues and energy needs." (A gigawatt equals 1,000 megawatts, or roughly the output of a large nuclear power plant.)

Harris, who led the expansion of the PJM Interconnection from its mid-Atlantic roots into the Midwest until his resignation two years ago, has spent that hiatus planning this new venture. "What I've done, I've engineered a solution to get the three large North American interconnections to move power in and amongst themselves in a credible way."

6-way street for renewable power

The three terminals would receive alternating-current power from transmission companies in Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma, and convert it to direct-current flows using solid-state voltage source converters. The direct current would move between the three terminals to carry out any of six possible transactions: Power could flow into or out of Texas, for instance by way of the two interconnections, or it could move between the interconnections directly....MUCH MORE

GRID is the transmission ETF.
Transmission: "Drive to Link Wind, Solar Power to Distant Users " (AMSC; PNM)

Wind power puts American Superconductor in play (AMSC)

Power Hub: Tres Amigas and the Future of Clean Energy (AMSC; PNM)

Transmission: "Economics for Tres Amigas" (AMSC; PNM)

American Superconductor Lifts Guidance; Stock Soars (AMSC)

Transmission: "Superconductors to Wire a Smarter Grid" (AMSC; PNM)

American Superconductor Discounting Contract Wins (AMSC)