United States

United States

Massive 1GW New Mexico order for GE Renewable Energy

Pattern Energy's 1,050MW Western Spirit Wind project is the "largest single-phase construction of renewable power in US history” and will feature 377 GE turbines

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First turbine being erected at Pattern Energy’s Western Spirit Wind projects

GE will supply 377 turbines from its 2MW platform to Pattern Energy's 1,050MW Western Spirit wind complex in New Mexico, which is due online by the end of the year.

Pattern Energy’s 1GW cluster is being built across four wind farms in Guadalupe, Lincoln and Torrance Counties in central New Mexico, with turbines ranging from 2.3 to 2.8MW in size and a range of tower heights aimed at capturing more wind power.

The wind farms' construction will take place alongside the build of the approximately 240km, 345kV AC Western Spirit Transmission Line, adding much-needed accessibility for the US state's wind resources to the New Mexico electricity grid.

The delivery and installation of turbines has already started, with the wind farms set to begin operating commercially before the end of 2021.

GE Renewable Energy will service the wind farms – the 349MW Red Cloud (Western Spirit) Red Cloud (Western Spirit) (349MW) OnshoreTorrance and Guadalupe Counties, New Mexico, USA, North America Click to see full details, 324MW Clines Corners (Western Spirit) Clines Corners (Western Spirit) (324MW) OnshoreTorrance and Guadalupe Counties, New Mexico, USA, North America Click to see full details272MW Tecolote (Western Spirit) Tecolote (Western Spirit) (272MW) OnshoreTorrance and Guadalupe Counties, New Mexico, USA, North America Click to see full details and 105MW Duran Mesa (Western Spirit) Duran Mesa (Western Spirit) (105MW) OnshoreTorrance County, New Mexico, USA, North America Click to see full details projects – for ten years. 

Other General Electric divisions are also involved in Western Wind, with GE Energy Financial Services underwriting the project and providing an unspecified portion of tax equity, and GE Energy Consulting providing critical grid modelling and analysis.

Tim White, CEO of GE Renewable Energy for Onshore Americas, said: “GE’s 2MW platform is extremely well suited to the region, with 98%-plus availability to help ensure the reliability of sustainable, affordable, renewable energy delivery to the region."

The location of The Western Spirit Wind farms 

The Western Spirit Wind farms will tap into new and existing transmission lines in New Mexico, with the 377-turbine order set to power the equivalent of more than 590,000 homes.

Power system and equipment studies provided by GE Energy evaluated specifications for transmission and power equipment for the new transmission line, substations, series capacitor bank, and wind farm installations.

Mike Garland, CEO of Pattern Energy, said the Western Spirit wind farms and transmission line will create more than a thousands construction jobs and create "billions of dollars in economic benefit".

He added: "The Western Spirit Wind projects have a powerful generation profile with an evening peak that is a perfect complement to daytime solar and displaces the need for more expensive, ramping fossil fuels."

The transmission line is owned by the New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority and is being co-developed by Pattern Energy.

It will interconnect directly into the Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) system, and the utility is due to acquire and operate the transmission line.

To date, Pattern Energy has more than 4.5GW of New Mexico wind in operation or development – equivalent to more than over US$9.5 billion of planned investments.

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