Pattern Energy acquires 3-GW New Mexico-Arizona wind power link
SunZia Transmission line route. Image source: Pattern Energy/PRNewswire
US renewables developer Pattern Energy LP announced on Monday that it has acquired the SunZia Transmission project, a proposed 550-mile (885.1 km) bi-directional high-voltage direct current (HVDC) line that will transport some 3 GW of wind power from New Mexico to Arizona.
SouthWestern Power Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary of US construction engineering company MMR Group, sold the project for an undisclosed sum, after working on it for over a decade.
Pattern Energy said it would launch full construction of the SunZia Transmission line next year, and finalise the project in 2025. It expects to secure final project approvals, including the Bureau of Land Management record of decision, in April 2023.
Pattern Energy, which was previously awarded the full capacity on the 525-kV transmission line, will use it to carry power from the 3-GW-plus SunZia Wind project, a group of wind farms it is developing in New Mexico. The company plans to start building the wind farms in 2023 and commission them in early 2026, it said.
Together, the SunZia Transmission and the SunZia Wind projects will represent an investment of over USD 8 billion (EUR 7.88bn) and more than 2,000 jobs at peak construction.
SunZia Transmission and Pattern Energy partnered with the New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority (RETA) on the project development. RETA previously worked with Pattern Energy on the 155-mile Western Spirit Transmission line in New Mexico, which they energised in December 2021.
"SunZia Transmission will create a clean power superhighway for millions of Americans by opening access to huge, largely-untapped wind energy resources in New Mexico," commented Mike Garland, CEO of Pattern Energy.
"This revolutionary transmission line will be the conduit for the largest wind project in U.S. history, our 3,000+ MW SunZia Wind facility. We are creating and implementing the largest clean energy infrastructure project in American history, demonstrating the vast potential of New Mexico's wind power and the regions' ability to bring large interstate infrastructure to reality," Garland added.
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