Tres Amigas LLC, the US-based national grid interconnection project known as the Tres Amigas SuperStation, has confirmed that Mitsui & Company Limited is to invest $12 million in the project.

In exchange, Mitsui will obtain an equity position and actively participate in the project.

By partnering with Tres Amigas, Mitsui plans to further internationalize its Smart Green Information Technology business model, which includes Smart Grid IT, renewable energy development and management, and carbon emissions mitigation strategies.

Described as a first-of-its-kind power transmission hub, Tres Amigas SuperStation is designed to interconnect America’s three primary electricity grids: Eastern (Southwest Power Pool); Western (Western Electricity Coordinating Council); and Texas (Electric Reliability Council of Texas)

The build-out of the $1.5bn SuperStation will take place in stages and the engineering design for Phase I is well underway, with construction scheduled to commence in 2012. The commercial operation of Phase I is scheduled for 2015.

The initial power transfer capacity will be 750 MW between the Western and Eastern grids. Once energized, energy producers and marketers will be able to transfer sizable blocks of power from region to region. Energy purchasers will also have access to regions heretofore inaccessible for their needs.

In addition to improving the reliability, efficiency and economics of the nation’s separate grids, the SuperStation is expected to provide value-added services and larger market opportunities to intermittent power sources such as wind, solar, geothermal and storage.

For more T&D Infrastructure news.