Among the most plentiful and reliable sources of wind in the country is found in New Mexico. The Western United States and Arizona will receive fuel-free, affordable energy thanks to SunZia Transmission’s transportation of this energy source to places with significant electricity demand. From SouthWestern Power Group, a fully-owned subsidiary of MMR Group, Inc., the SunZia Transmission project was purchased by Pattern Energy Group LP. Central New Mexico and south-central Arizona are connected by the 550-mile SunZia Transmission, a 525 kV, bi-directional, high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line with the ability to move up to 3,000 MW of clean, renewable energy.
3,000 MW of the transmission line’s total capacity was previously given to Pattern Energy by SunZia Transmission. To meet the annual electricity requirements of 2.5 million Americans, Pattern Energy is building the SunZia Wind facility, a 3,000+ MW plant in New Mexico that will use the SunZia transmission line. An additional 500 kV high voltage alternating current (HVAC) transmission line, El Rio Sol Transmission, will continue to be owned by SouthWestern Power Group.
With a combined investment of more than $8 billion, SunZia Transmission and SunZia Wind form the largest renewable energy infrastructure venture in US history. Both initiatives will have a significant economic impact on both New Mexico and Arizona and are privately funded.
The New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority (RETA) and SunZia Transmission and Pattern Energy have joined forces to create the transmission project in New Mexico. The SunZia Transmission and SunZia Wind projects are planned to start full construction in 2023, and Pattern Energy anticipates that both projects will be completed and operational by the end of 2025.
By providing access to massive, largely untapped wind energy resources in New Mexico, SunZia Transmission will build a clean power superhighway for millions of Americans, according to Pattern Energy CEO Mike Garland. “Investments like SunZia will enable a future powered by sustainable energy and have a multimillion-dollar positive impact on the economies of Arizona and New Mexico. The 3,000+ MW SunZia Wind plant, the largest wind project in American history, will be delivered through this ground-breaking transmission line. We are developing and putting into action the biggest clean energy infrastructure initiative in American history, showcasing the enormous potential of wind energy in New Mexico and the region’s capability to construct major interstate infrastructure.”
“Pattern Energy is well-positioned to take SunZia Transmission to completion as the anchor tenant and a company with substantial expertise planning and building new transmission in the southwest,” said David Getts, who is the General Manager (GM) of SouthWestern Power Group. By enabling the construction of over 3,000 MW of high-quality, strategically located American wind production in New Mexico, SunZia is significantly contributing to the decarbonization of our economy. During their busiest periods of construction, the SunZia Transmission and SunZia Wind facilities will employ over 2,000 workers. The projects will be run and maintained after they are up and running by up to 150 permanent employees.