A public hearing is expected to be held early this summer regarding the construction of a massive $2 billion transmission project in New Mexico and Arizona.
The Phoenix-based Southwestern Power Group has been planning for the better part of a decade now to build two bi-directional electric transmission lines, as well as several substations, for a project that will run more than 500 miles from central New Mexico to the Pinal Central Substation near Coolidge, Arizona.
The project will also include the construction of a series of towers measuring 135 feet in height designed to support the extra high-voltage lines.
The very large wind and solar project will ultimately bring energy to customers in southern California.
The Sun Zia Transmission Project has already won the approval of a variety of federal and state agencies, including the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, which gave it the green light to build across 134 miles of federal land in New Mexico and 50 miles of those same lands in Arizona.
But it still requires the approval of the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission regarding final transmission line locations and right of way lengths.
That commission is expected to take public testimony in June. If that testimony is followed by a vote of approval, work on the Sun Zia project could begin later this year, with a 2020 completion date.
By Garry Boulard
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