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United States

New Mexico finances grid with $50million bond issue

UNITED STATES: A New Mexico state agency has issued $50 million in bonds to help carry wind energy to Arizona.

The New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority (RETA) bonds will fund upgrades to transmission lines from the 100MW High Lonesome Mesa Wind Farm, in Torrance County, to the Arizona state line.

The bond proceeds will be loaned directly to wind farm owner Edison Mission Energy, and contribute to $75 million of debt financing the developer has recently secured for High Lonesome Mesa.

High Lonesome uses 40 2.5MW Clipper turbines. The wind farm went online in July 2009, but has not operated at full capacity due to transmission restraints, RETA said.

Its electricity is sold under long-term contract to the utility Arizona Public Service, and these sales will repay the debt. The lines to be upgraded are owned by the Public Service Company of New Mexico.

The bond matures on November 1, 2017. Its interest rate is 6.85 percent.

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