New Mexico Wind Energy Projects Advance Renewable Power Agenda
08 Oct 2019
A major energy provider in New Mexico announced plans to purchase a wind energy transmission line and are intending to deliver wind-powered electricity across the state when completed in 2021.
Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) received approval for the acquisition from the New Mexico Public Regulatory Commission to purchase the Wester Spirit transmission line from Pattern Development and the New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority (RETA) once construction is complete.
Pattern and RETA were tasked with developing and building the line, and will then sell it to PNM for $285 million, read a PNM news release.
The line will have a capacity of 800 megawatts of new wind energy, delivering wind energy generated by Pattern’s turbine projects in New Mexico’s and could be connected to developments west into Arizona and California.
It will start near Corona, New Mexico and terminate northwest of Albuquerque at PNM’s Rio Puerco substation. Once complete, the line will represent an investment of more than $1.5 billion in renewable generation and transmission, records show.
“The new transmission line should be good news for Arizona utilities, where price-competitive wind options are more limited,” said Ken Wilson, an engineering fellow with Western Resource Advocates.
“Arizona has excellent solar resources, but a limited wind resource, which is not as competitive in price as the wind that is available in New Mexico. This new transmission line can be used by utilities in Arizona and California to bring New Mexico’s strong wind resources to customers.”
PNM President Pat Vincent-Collawn said the project would expand PNM’s transmission grid, and grow renewable energy in New Mexico. "We are pleased that this project has received the required regulatory approvals and continues to move forward," he said.
The 165-mile transmission was expected to ultimately carry a capacity of 1,000 megawatts, delivering enough power for 590,000 homes.