Final Approval from U.S. Bureau of Land Management for largest clean energy infrastructure project in American history; Full construction anticipated to commence in summer 2023
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., May 18, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Pattern Energy Group LP (Pattern Energy), a leader in renewable energy, welcomes the U.S. Department of Interior Bureau of Land Management’s Record of Decision on the SunZia Transmission project, which will enable over 3,500 MW of New Mexico wind power from the SunZia Wind project to provide clean, reliable, and affordable electricity across Western states.
Today’s Record of Decision by the Bureau of Land Management marks an important milestone for the SunZia Transmission project. After over 16 years of development including rigorous regulatory and environmental review, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process is complete. Full construction is anticipated to commence in the summer of 2023.
“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,” said Hunter Armistead, CEO of Pattern Energy. “We’re proud that SunZia is the culmination of over a decade of collaboration with communities, residents, landowners, environmental groups, wildlife organizations, and federal agencies. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management, specifically the New Mexico State office, did a thorough and professional job managing this robust environmental NEPA process review to a close. SunZia will implement industry-leading measures for environmental mitigation, including emerging technology and long-term conservation research. More than 2,000 workers will now roll up their sleeves and get to work on America’s largest clean energy infrastructure project, which we look forward to completing in 2026.”
SunZia Transmission is setting a precedent with a gold standard in environmental mitigation efforts developed hand-in-hand with the environmental community. These range from restoring thousands of acres of wildlife habitat to investing in emerging technology and long-term conservation research. SunZia Wind has also established robust environmental best practices to reduce project impacts and study effective habitat restoration strategies in partnership with local and state experts.
“Climate change is the number one threat to birds’ survival, and projects like SunZia are key to reducing carbon pollution and creating a cleaner future for people and wildlife,” said Garry George, Director of the National Audubon Society’s Clean Energy Initiative. “We look forward to continuing to collaborate with Pattern Energy and other conservation groups to responsibly expand our nation’s clean energy and transmission infrastructure in ways that avoid, minimize, and mitigate impacts on birds and communities.”
“We welcome this important milestone for the SunZia project that will unlock New Mexico’s vast renewable wind resource,” said Fernando Martinez, Executive Director of the New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority (RETA). “Pattern Energy has been an excellent partner and we see SunZia as the model for planning and developing critical transmission projects that will advance our transition to clean energy.”
SunZia Transmission is a 550-mile ± 525 kV high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line between central New Mexico and south-central Arizona with the capacity to transport 3,000 MW of clean, renewable energy. SunZia Transmission will open access to the western energy markets to SunZia Wind, the largest wind project in the Western Hemisphere, which is comprised of more than 3,500 MW of new wind generation located in Torrance, Lincoln, and San Miguel Counties in New Mexico.
Pattern Energy recently announced that the SunZia Transmission and SunZia Wind projects are expected to generate $20.5 billion dollars in total economic benefit, which includes over $8 billion of direct capital investment, at no added cost to ratepayers, according to the results of an independent study conducted by the research firm Energy, Economic & Environment Consultants LLC. Together, the projects will 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.
The Record of Decision also includes an updated Preferred Alternative Route for the adjacent RioSol Transmission Line, a 500-kV High Voltage Alternating Current project that will have a capacity of 1,500 MW and will bring additional clean resources to western markets.
About Pattern Energy
Pattern Energy is one of the world’s largest privately-owned developers and operators of wind, solar, transmission, and energy storage projects. Its operational portfolio includes 38 renewable energy facilities that use proven, best-in-class technology with an operating capacity of more than 6,000 MW in the United States, Canada, Japan, and Mexico. Pattern Energy is guided by a long-term commitment to serve customers, protect the environment, and strengthen communities. For more information, visit www.patternenergy.com.
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SOURCE Pattern Energy Group LP