By Alisa Boswell
CMI staff writer
The recurring theme for this year’s Pure Energy Expo in Clovis will once again be Tres Amigas, transmission lines and wind energy development.
Tres Amigas officials will be giving an update on their regional power superstation project, which is to serve as an electricity highway for energy and utility companies.
With the company’s groundbreaking date for the project being moved up several times, the latest date being predicted for January 2014, Tres Amigas Chief Operating Officer David Stidham will help kick off the expo Tuesday by updating attendees on where the project stands now.
“I think that (Tres Amigas) groundbreaking will be a big part of driving the commercial construction of transmission lines (in the region),” said Clovis Industrial Development Corporation Director Chase Gentry. “It will be more and more viable as Tres Amigas comes online.”
Gentry said transmission lines will probably not fail to be a heavily discussed topic for the next few years as energy officials brainstorm with new ideas of how to bring more transmission infrastructure to New Mexico.
“Texas has built a lot of transmission lines but we have not been able to move that forward in New Mexico yet,” Gentry said. “The problem with all of it is if your going to transfer power into California, you’ve got to have more routes. I think that Tres Amigas will give better tools to transmission line developers to move their projects forward.”
Gentry said a new topic to this year’s expo is educating officials on how to work with military entities concerning the development of wind energy projects.
“That’s one of the goals of the expo is to educate people who need to know what’s happening and how it happens,” he said. “I think that all of the speakers are looking at ways we can continue to bring in wind energy to the area and develop it.”
Gentry said another exciting addition to this year’s event is the attendance and sponsorship of BayWa Renewable Energy officials, who will have a booth at the event in which attendees can inquire about on-site job opportunities for the Broadview wind farm project, which broke ground the end of September.
“The purpose is just to get people introduced to the possibilities of wind energy development in the area,” said CIDC Media Relations Coordinator Jenna Frosch.
“Clovis and Curry County and this general part of New Mexico and Texas has really had a role in wind and other renewable energies and getting this going is getting us a step further in that direction,” she added.