The SunZia Transmission project will enable more than 2.5 million Americans to access more than 3,000MW of clean, reliable and affordable power generated by the SunZia Wind project

Pattern Energy

Pattern Energy developed the Western Spirit Transmission line. (Credit: Pattern Energy Group LP/PRNewswire)

US-based renewable energy developer Pattern Energy has acquired the SunZia Transmission project from SouthWestern Power Group for an undisclosed sum.

SouthWestern Power Group is a wholly-owned subsidiary of MMR Group, which provides industrial electrical and instrumentation construction services.

SunZia Transmission includes a bi-directional 525kV high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line, which covers 550 miles (80.5km) between Arizona and New Mexico.

The HVDC transmission line is set to deliver up to 3,000MW of clean, renewable energy to south-central Arizona, from wind farms Pattern Energy is developing in New Mexico.

Pattern Energy is currently developing the SunZia Wind project, with a capacity of more than 3,000MW, which would provide adequate renewable electricity to address the needs of 2.5 million people each year.

SouthWestern Power is retaining the ownership of a second 500kV high voltage-alternating current (HVAC) transmission line, dubbed El Rio Sol Transmission.

SouthWestern Power Group general manager David Getts said: “As the anchor tenant of SunZia Transmission and a company with significant experience developing and building new transmission in the southwest, Pattern Energy is well-positioned to take SunZia across the finish line.

“SunZia is playing a vital role in decarbonising our economy by enabling more than 3,000MW of high-value, well-sited American wind generation to be constructed in New Mexico.”

Pattern Energy intends to commence construction at the two projects in 2023 and start operations at SunZia Transmission in 2025 and at SunZia Wind in early 2026.

The SunZia Transmission and SunZia Wind together comprise the largest renewable energy infrastructure project in the US, entailing a total investment of more than $8bn.

The projects are anticipated to create more than 2,000 construction jobs during peak construction, and deliver economic benefits across New Mexico and Arizona.

SunZia Transmission and Pattern Energy have partnered with the New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority (RETA) on the development of the transmission project in New Mexico.

Pattern Energy CEO Mike Garland said: “SunZia Transmission will create a clean power superhighway for millions of Americans by opening access to huge, largely-untapped wind energy resources in New Mexico.

“SunZia is an investment that will empower our clean energy future and generate millions of dollars in economic impact across Arizona and New Mexico.

“We are creating and implementing the largest clean energy infrastructure project in American history, demonstrating the vast potential of New Mexico’s wind power and the regions’ ability to bring large interstate infrastructure to reality.”

Furthermore, Pattern Energy is also developing additional interstate transmission projects including the advanced-stage 525kV Southern Spirit Transmission project that will connect ERCOT in Texas to the Southeast market.