3,500+ MW SunZia Wind project will harness powerful New Mexico wind resource to deliver value to customers
Albuquerque, New Mexico, May 15, 2023 – Pattern Energy Group LP (Pattern Energy), a leader in renewable energy and transmission infrastructure, announced it has signed long-term Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with Shell Energy North America (US), L.P. (Shell Energy) and the Regents of the University of California, for a portion of the power from its 3,500+ MW SunZia Wind project. Construction of SunZia Wind is expected to start later this year and be completed in 2026, when it will start delivering power to western energy markets.
“This wind contract represents another milestone achievement for the University of California,” said David Phillips, Associate Vice President of Capital Programs, Energy and Sustainability. “Eight years ago, we signed our first utility-scale contracts for solar and today we are adding another important renewable resource to our portfolio – wind. The University is excited to be part of such a significant renewable project that will reduce carbon emissions and provide more resilience to the California grid.”
“We welcome these exciting new relationships with Shell Energy and UC Regents on the delivery of New Mexico wind power,” said Hunter Armistead, CEO of Pattern Energy. “SunZia is providing access to some of the best wind in the world, which has a powerful generation profile with an evening peak that is a perfect complement to daytime solar. We are committed to harnessing New Mexico’s wind to generate clean power for 3 million Americans and continuing to have conversations with interested customers throughout the western region.”
SunZia Transmission will open access to the western energy markets to SunZia Wind, the largest wind project in the Western Hemisphere, which is comprised of more than 3,500 MW of new wind generation located in Torrance, Lincoln, and San Miguel Counties in New Mexico. SunZia Transmission is a 550-mile ± 525 kV high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line between central New Mexico and south-central Arizona with the capacity to transport 3,000 MW of clean, renewable energy. SunZia Transmission will enable SunZia Wind to supply customers in Arizona and California during the crucial early evening hours when demand is high but the otherwise available renewable energy supply is low.
The SunZia Wind and SunZia Transmission projects have been developed with a deep commitment to local community engagement and environmental stewardship. A key initiative for SunZia has been following through on an extended engagement with local, regional, and national conservation stakeholders. As a result of this commitment and consultation, SunZia Transmission is setting a precedent with a gold standard in environmental mitigation efforts developed hand-in-hand with the environmental community. These range from restoring thousands of acres of wildlife habitat to investing in emerging technology and long-term conservation research. SunZia Wind has established robust environmental best practices to reduce project impacts and study effective habitat restoration strategies in partnership with local and state experts.
Pattern Energy recently announced that the SunZia Transmission and SunZia Wind projects are expected to generate $20.5 billion dollars in total economic benefit, which includes over $8 billion of direct capital investment, at no added cost to ratepayers, according to the results of an independent study conducted by research firm Energy, Economic & Environment Consultants LLC. Together, the projects will generate an expected $1.3 billion in fiscal impacts that will go to governments, communities, and schools. These benefits are generated through sales and use taxes, property taxes, community benefit payments, and land payments to federal and state agencies.
The projects continue to work with federal agencies including the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), as well as local jurisdictions and stakeholders, to finalize remaining approvals to allow construction to begin on schedule this year.
About Pattern Energy
Pattern Energy is one of the world’s largest privately-owned developers and operators of wind, solar, transmission, and energy storage projects. Its operational portfolio includes 35 renewable energy facilities that use proven, best-in-class technology with an operating capacity of nearly 6,000 MW in the United States, Canada, Japan, and Mexico. Pattern Energy is guided by a long-term commitment to serve customers, protect the environment, and strengthen communities. For more information, visit www.patternenergy.com.
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