U.S. Bureau of Land Management Approves Largest Clean Energy Project in American History
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., May 18, 2023 – Pattern Energy Group LP (Pattern Energy), a leader in renewable energy, is celebrating the final approval from the U.S. Department of Interior Bureau of Land Management for the SunZia Transmission project. This landmark decision paves the way for the largest clean energy infrastructure project in American history, with full construction expected to begin in the summer of 2023.
The SunZia Transmission project will facilitate the transmission of over 3,500 MW of New Mexico wind power from the SunZia Wind project, providing clean, reliable, and affordable electricity across Western states. After 16 years of development and a rigorous regulatory and environmental review process, the project has completed the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process.
Hunter Armistead, CEO of Pattern Energy, expressed excitement about this significant milestone, stating, “This is a historic day for the advancement of America’s clean energy goals as SunZia receives its major federal routing permit, clearing the way to bring online enough renewable power for 3 million Americans.” Armistead commended the collaboration between various stakeholders, including communities, residents, landowners, environmental groups, wildlife organizations, and federal agencies.
The SunZia Transmission project sets a new standard in environmental mitigation efforts, with measures such as restoring wildlife habitat and investing in emerging technology and long-term conservation research. The project’s commitment to minimizing impacts and implementing robust environmental practices has gained support from organizations like the National Audubon Society’s Clean Energy Initiative.
Fernando Martinez, Executive Director of the New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority (RETA), hailed the SunZia project as a crucial step in unlocking New Mexico’s abundant renewable wind resources. He praised Pattern Energy as an excellent partner and emphasized the project’s role in advancing the state’s transition to clean energy.
The SunZia Transmission project involves a 550-mile high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line, capable of transporting 3,000 MW of clean, renewable energy between central New Mexico and south-central Arizona. It will enable the SunZia Wind project, the largest wind project in the Western Hemisphere, comprising over 3,500 MW of new wind generation across multiple counties in New Mexico, to access western energy markets.
An independent study conducted by Energy, Economic & Environment Consultants LLC estimates that the SunZia Transmission and SunZia Wind projects will generate a total economic benefit of $20.5 billion. This includes over $8 billion of direct capital investment and is expected to result in $1.3 billion in fiscal impacts that will benefit governments, communities, and schools.
The Record of Decision by the Bureau of Land Management also includes an updated Preferred Alternative Route for the adjacent RioSol Transmission Line. This 500-kV High Voltage Alternating Current project will have a capacity of 1,500 MW, further expanding clean resources available to western markets.
Pattern Energy, known for its extensive portfolio of wind, solar, transmission, and energy storage projects, operates over 6,000 MW of renewable energy facilities across the United States, Canada, Japan, and Mexico. The company is dedicated to serving customers, protecting the environment, and strengthening communities.
For more information about Pattern Energy, visit www.patternenergy.com.