Pattern Energy gets BLM OK for SunZia Transmission Project

- Contributed Graphic/BLM

WASHINGTON D.C. — The Bureau of Land Management issued a record of decision last Thursday, allowing Pattern Energy to move forward with the SunZia Southwest Transmission Project.

The SunZia Southwest Transmission Project is composed of two planned 500-kilovolt transmission lines located across approximately 520 miles of federal, state and private lands between central New Mexico and central Arizona. The lines will run through Graham, Greenlee and Cochise counties.

Once completed, the project will deliver 4,500 megawatts of primarily renewable energy from New Mexico to markets in Arizona and California.

“In New Mexico, you’ve got this incredible wind resource. So when you’re able to merge those two shapes — you’ve got the solar producing locally during the middle of the day; you’ve got the wind that ramps up in the evening as the sun goes down, that produces overnight — it’s a really great mix of generation technologies,” said Kevin Wetzel, vice president for business development for Pattern Energy.

Since 2021, the BLM has approved 35 projects (10 solar, eight geothermal, and 17 gen-ties) on approximately 23,396 acres of BLM-managed lands. These projects are expected to produce 8,160 megawatts of electricity — enough to power more than 2.6 million homes.

Editor’s note: This story was edited at 8:06 a.m. Tuesday, May 23, 2023, to correct Pattern Energy’s name.