The US Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today announced a Record of Decision for SunZia, the massive clean energy transmission project in the US Southwest.
BLM completed the review period for SunZia in less than two years – one of the final steps the transmission project needed to complete before the project’s developer, Pattern Energy Group, can formally break ground.
SunZia Southwest Transmission Project is a 550-mile ± 525 kV high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line between central New Mexico and south-central Arizona.
It will have the capacity to transport up to 4,500 MW of primarily clean energy to Arizona and California, specifically from SunZia Wind, the largest wind project in the Western Hemisphere. The 3,500-megawatt (MW) wind farm sprawls across New Mexico’s counties of Torrance, Lincoln, and San Miguel.
SunZia Transmission’s permitted route originates at a planned substation in Torrance County, New Mexico, and ends at the existing Pinal Central Substation in Pinal County, Arizona.
The clean energy transmission project, which was first proposed in 2008, is expected to create over 2,000 new jobs, has an expected economic impact of $20.5 billion, and is expected to come online in 2026. It’s going to supply power to more than three million people.
BLM New Mexico state director Melanie Barnes said:
We are pleased to announce this exciting milestone for the SunZia Southwest Transmission Project.
This effort represents an important step in the development of our country’s renewable energy and transmission infrastructure.
Earlier this month, Electrek reported that Pattern Energy Group has selected Hitachi Energy and Quanta Services as its engineering, procurement, and construction contractors to build the SunZia Transmission project.
Read more: Renewables supplied 65% of new US utility-scale generating capacity in Q1 2023
Photo: Brett Sayles on Pexels.com
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Author: Michelle Lewis