Pattern Energy expects to break ground on transmission and wind farms this year
The total economic impact from construction and operation of Pattern Energy’s massive SunZia transmission and wind-generation project, expected to break ground this summer, could reach $20.5 billion over 30 years, according to a new study.
The full SunZia transmission project, which developers first began planning in 2008, could eventually carry up to 4.5 gigawatts of wind energy over two high voltage lines running from Central New Mexico to south-central Arizona for sale in western markets.
Southwestern Power Group, the initial developer, had originally planned to build both lines, including a 1.5 GW alternating current, or AC line, and a 3 GW direct current, or DC line, with Pattern Energy as the anchor tenant who would transport electricity from its New Mexico wind farms over SunZia.
But Pattern acquired the rights to the 3 GW line last summer, and now plans to build that transmission line alongside development of 3.5 GW of new wind energy. That includes nearly 1,000 turbines it plans to install in Lincoln, Torrance and San Miguel counties, spanning about 600,000 acres of private and state trust lands.