Pattern Energy's 1,050-MW New Mexico wind complex comes online

Pattern Energy’s Western Spirit Wind facilities in New Mexico. Image by Pattern Energy.

January 6 (Renewables Now) - Renewables developer Pattern Energy Group LP on Thursday said it has completed the US’ largest single-phase renewable energy project, the 1,050-MW Western Spirit Wind complex of four wind parks in central New Mexico.

The mammoth project, using a total of 377 GE wind turbines of between 2.3 MW and 2.8 MW, was built in less than a year. It has now started commercial operation, generating enough electricity to meet the needs of more than 900,000 Americans, the company says.

Blattner Energy was the contractor for the wind farms’ construction.

Pattern Energy chief executive Mike Garland said the company has committed to a further USD 6 billion (EUR 5.3bn) in wind energy and related infrastructure projects in New Mexico over the next decade.

Western Spirit Wind has a complementary profile to solar and will diversify resources for western energy markets, according to the developer. It will provide electricity to California and New Mexico via long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, San Jose Clean Energy, East Bay Community Energy, California Choice Energy Authority and member cities, as well as Uniper Global Commodities. As part of the latter PPA, the project will also supply power to New Mexico municipalities, including Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities.

Western Spirit Wind is accompanied by a 150-mile (241 km) transmission line that carries power from the wind power complex to the New Mexico grid. It was energised in December.

(USD 1 = EUR 0.884)

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Plamena has been a UK-focused reporter for many years. As part of the Renewables Now team she is taking a keen interest in policy moves.

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