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Such a trading hub could spur investment in wind and solar power development in many states around the region, say officials with Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM). The company is weighing construction of a new “wind collector” transmission line to connect new wind farms in the east-central part of the state with Tres Amigas, if the new transmission hub is built.

Today, PNM has “no significant ability” to move power to the eastern US or to Texas, says Greg Miller, lead engineering and operations director for PNM. While power lines that run west to California remain congested, Tres Amigas would open up the other two markets – allowing development of New Mexico wind power.

“We have very rich potential for renewable-energy development, particularly with wind in the east-central part of our state,” Mr. Miller says. With at least 10,000 megawatts of wind power development currently waiting for transmission lines to be built, “we think [the hub] could be the trigger that will allow us to move forward.”

The supercooled cables from American Superconductor, the nation’s largest maker of superconducting cable, are already being used in small projects by the Long Island Power Authority, American Electric Power, and National Grid. Perhaps two dozen locations worldwide rely on superconducting cable, but often it is to connect key stations less than a mile from each other.

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