The Golden Spike: Advanced Power Electronics Enables Renewable Development Across NERC Regions


The application of large-scale voltage-source, BtB HVDC converters to the three North American (i.e., NERC regional) grids presents unique challenges and significant power and transmission scheduling opportunities. The TASS project is a uniquely staged and planned, multistep development of physical facilities that will profoundly affect the marketing of renewable energy in these three regions. The TASS project is expected to support the significant growth of renewable energy projects through significant and flexible improvements in transmission access. The potential for these new renewable resources to exploit time-of-day market diversity should provide additional benefits to the ERCOT, SPP, and WECC network regions of the United States. While VSC technologies have been installed in other HVDC system arrangements, this project uniquely applies up to six BtB HVDC converters in a configuration that uses proven GIS/GIL technology and leading edge IGBT and conventional thyristor-based converter valves in an arrangement offering maximum flexibility. The project will expand and interconnect up to 5,000 MW of transmission capacity in a flexible, real-time-controlled environment. The station will be located in central east New Mexico, allowing access to ERCOT, SPP, and WECC networks while continuing iso- lated interconnection between all three NERC regions. This will take place in the middle of a large concentration of pro- posed renewable energy areas located in the southwestern and mid western United States.

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