If it goes ahead, the 550-mile bi-directional 525kV high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line will allow for the transport of wind-generated electricity from central New Mexico to markets in Arizona and California.
The power will come from Pattern Energy's related SunZia wind project, which includes plans for more than 3.5GW of wind capacity in New Mexico’s Torrance, Lincoln and San Miguel counties.
The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) statement is one of the last regulatory hurdles for the transmission project.
The document’s protest period ends on 15 March, with the governor’s consistency review due a month later, after which the BLM will make a final decision on SunZia’s right-of-way across federal land in the spring.
Pattern Energy, which acquired SunZia wind and transmission from SouthWestern Power Group in 2022, called it the largest renewable energy infrastructure project in US history, with a total investment of more than $8 billion. Construction should start this year, with the transmission line to be operational in late 2025 and the wind farm in early 2026.
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