Pattern Energy Group LP has signed long-term Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with Shell Energy North America (US), L.P. (Shell Energy) and the Regents of the University of California, for a portion of the power from its SunZia Wind project. This project is set to be the largest wind project in the Western Hemisphere, with over 3,500 MW of new wind generation located in Torrance, Lincoln, and San Miguel Counties in New Mexico.
The SunZia Wind project is expected to start construction later this year and be completed in 2026, when it will start delivering power to western energy markets. SunZia Transmission, a 550-mile ± 525 kV high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line between central New Mexico and south-central Arizona, will open access to western energy markets and enable SunZia Wind to supply customers in Arizona and California during crucial early evening hours when demand is high but renewable energy supply is low.
The project has been developed with a deep commitment to local community engagement and environmental stewardship. SunZia Transmission has set a gold standard in environmental mitigation efforts, developed hand-in-hand with the environmental community. The company has also established robust environmental best practices to reduce project impacts and study effective habitat restoration strategies in partnership with local and state experts.
The SunZia Wind and SunZia Transmission projects are expected to generate $20.5 billion dollars in total economic benefit, including over $8 billion of direct capital investment, and generate an expected $1.3 billion in fiscal impacts that will go to governments, communities, and schools. These benefits are generated through sales and use taxes, property taxes, community benefit payments, and land payments to federal and state agencies.
Pattern Energy is one of the world’s largest privately-owned developers and operators of wind, solar, transmission, and energy storage projects, with an operating capacity of nearly 6,000 MW in the United States, Canada, Japan, and Mexico. The company is guided by a long-term commitment to serve customers, protect the environment, and strengthen communities.
The SunZia Wind project represents a major milestone achievement for the University of California, which eight years ago signed its first utility-scale contracts for solar. The University is excited to be part of such a significant renewable project that will reduce carbon emissions and provide more resilience to the California grid.
“We welcome these exciting new relationships with Shell Energy and UC Regents on the delivery of New Mexico wind power,” said Hunter Armistead, CEO of Pattern Energy. “SunZia is providing access to some of the best wind in the world, which has a powerful generation profile with an evening peak that is a perfect complement to daytime solar. We are committed to harnessing New Mexico’s wind to generate clean power for 3 million Americans and continuing to have conversations with interested customers throughout the western region.”
With renewable energy becoming more and more important for reducing carbon emissions, it’s great to see projects like SunZia Wind being developed. This project will provide a significant amount of renewable energy to western energy markets and reduce the overall carbon footprint. With the economic benefits and the commitment to environmental stewardship, it’s clear that SunZia Wind will be a major force for good in the years to come.