According to the Dallas Morning News, power providers and regulators in Texas are taking steps to establish commercial exchanges of electricity with their Mexican counterparts.

With the addition of two new facilities built this year, the total number of existing ties to the Mexican power grid now stands at three. Electric Transmission Texas has built a 110-megawatt (MW), variable-frequency transformer connection in Laredo. Sharyland Utilities, which owns the 36-MW DC tie at Eagle Pass, has also built a 150-MW DC connection at McAllen.

All three facilities have been used to transport electricity across the border for emergency purposes. In some cases, Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE), Mexico’s nationalized utility, supplied power to help Texas providers meet an unexpected spike in demand. In other cases, power flowed the opposite way.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is evaluating the three small interconnections for their ability to handle commercial exchanges of power. The effort recently was given a boost when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ruled it wouldn’t interfere in the operations between the two grids at McAllen and Laredo.   EC