A project that will see the see the construction of a roughly 165 mile-long renewable power line and a wind center could see work finally beginning next year.
As proposed, the Western Spirit Transmission Line, which has been in development for the better part of a decade, is an overhead 435 kilovolt electric transmission system that will extend from Sandoval County to Torrance County.
That line, in its simplest form, will collect renewable power from a wind-rich section of the state to an existing power grid in another part of the state.
The wind center will be located in central New Mexico’s Estancia Valley.
Now the Albuquerque-based Public Service Company of New Mexico has announced that it wants to acquire, for $285 million, that line.
The project is currently being developed by the San Francisco-based Pattern Energy Group and the New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority.
The transmission authority is the result of a 2007 bill passed by the New Mexico State Legislature and designed to provide funding for the construction of renewable energy transmission lines in the state.
Uniquely, the New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority is also one of only eight such state-level authorities in the country. The others are all located in the big developing wind energy states of Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.
PNM’s acquisition plans for the project must first be reviewed by the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission.
If all goes as planned, construction of the project will launch next year, with a 2021 completion date.
By Garry Boulard
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