Western Interconnection

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The two major and three minor NERC Interconnections, and the nine NERC Regional Reliability Councils.

The Western Interconnection is one of the two major alternating current (AC) power grids in North America. The other major wide area synchronous grid is the Eastern Interconnection. The three minor interconnections are the Québec Interconnection, the Texas Interconnection, and the Alaska Interconnection.

All of the electric utilities in the Western Interconnection are electrically tied together during normal system conditions and operate at a synchronized frequency of 60Hz. The Western Interconnection stretches from Western Canada south to Baja California in Mexico, reaching eastward over the Rockies to the Great Plains.

Interconnections can be tied to each other via high-voltage direct current power transmission lines (DC ties), or with variable-frequency transformers (VFTs), which permit a controlled flow of energy while also functionally isolating the independent AC frequencies of each side. There are six DC ties to the Eastern Interconnect in the US and one in Canada,[1] and there are proposals to add four additional ties.[2] It is not tied to the Alaska Interconnection.

On October 13, 2009, the Tres Amigas SuperStation was announced to connect the Eastern, Western and Texas Interconnections via three 5 GW superconductor links.[3]

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