Pattern Energy announced plans Monday to invest $8 billion in New Mexico-based wind generation and new transmission infrastructure after acquiring partial ownership over the SunZia Southwest Transmission Project.
The Southwestern Power Group has been working since 2008 to develop SunZia, a massive transmission project that would carry wind-generated electricity from Central New Mexico to Arizona for export to western markets. Pattern has now purchased the rights to build one of two 550-mile transmission lines contemplated in the SunZia project for an undisclosed price.
The company expects to begin construction next year on that line – and on 3,000 megawatts of new wind generation in Lincoln, Torrance and San Miguel counties – for transport to Arizona and beyond, beginning in 2026, said Pattern Energy CEO Mike Garland.
“SunZia Transmission will create a clean power superhighway for millions of Americans by opening access to huge, largely-untapped wind energy resources in New Mexico,” Garland said in a statement announcing the deal. “SunZia is an investment that will empower our clean energy future and generate millions of dollars in economic impact across Arizona and New Mexico.”
Pattern is already New Mexico’s largest clean-energy developer, after inaugurating its newly built Western Spirit wind complex early this year. The company invested nearly $2 billion in that project, including a new 155-mile transmission line and nearly 400 wind turbines scattered throughout Guadalupe, Torrance and Lincoln counties.