Pattern Energy Acquires Power Transmission Line Project


ALBUQUERQUE, NM (AP) — A California-based renewable energy developer announced Monday that it has acquired a transmission line project that will connect its massive wind farms in east-central New Mexico to more populated markets in the West.

Pattern Energy has already invested billions in its infrastructure in New Mexico, and company officials said the SunZia transmission line will provide access to more than 3,000 megawatts of wind power that would be able to meet the needs of more than 2.5 million people.

The authorization of the line has been in preparation for years. When completed, the two-way high voltage line will stretch 885 kilometers (550 miles) from New Mexico to Arizona.

Pattern Energy said it acquired the project from SouthWestern Power Group, a subsidiary of MMR Group, Inc. Pricing was not disclosed, but Pattern Energy said the transmission line along with SunZia’s planned wind farm would represent an investment of $8 billion.

Both projects are privately funded, according to Pattern Energy.

Construction is expected to begin next year, with the transmission line commissioning in 2025 and the wind farm in 2026.

Pattern CEO Mike Garland called SunZia a “clean energy highway.”

“We are creating and implementing the largest clean energy infrastructure project in American history, demonstrating New Mexico’s vast wind power potential and the regions ability to deliver major interstate infrastructure,” he said in a statement.

Once operational, up to 150 permanent employees will manage and maintain the two projects.

Originally approved in 2015, the route of the transmission line was adjusted after military officials raised concerns about the project affecting missions at White Sands Missile Range. Environmentalists have also raised questions about the project’s effects on birds and other wildlife.

Final government approvals are expected to be issued by next spring.

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