PNM has signed an agreement with an affiliate of Pattern Development and the New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority (NM RETA) to acquire Western Spirit renewable transmission project.
PNM said that the Western Spirit renewable transmission project would support the development of new wind resources in eastern New Mexico. The acquisition is also subject to the necessary regulatory approvals.
The Western Spirit transmission project will be constructed by the NM RETA and Pattern Development partnership. PNM is planning to acquire the Western Spirit project upon completion of construction in 2021, with a $285m net investment.
With the transaction, the capacity added to the company is expected to strengthen the existing PNM system and provide upgrades to accommodate 800MW of new wind energy.
PNM Resources chairman, president and CEO Pat Vincent-Collawn said: “While sunshine and wind may be plentiful in New Mexico, the ability to deliver the clean energy they can produce is limited by the capacity of transmission lines. Expansion of the PNM transmission grid makes it possible for Pattern Development to invest in wind energy resources in New Mexico.
“The purpose of NM RETA is to encourage this type of renewable investment that brings new construction jobs and tax revenues to the state, and we are pleased to have the opportunity to support these efforts along with Governor Lujan Grisham’s plans to make New Mexico a leader in clean energy.”
PNM said that one of the Pattern Development’s affiliates is a wholesale transmission customer that would fund the investment through an incremental rate, subject to the approval from Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
The acquisition is also expected to have no impact on the rates of existing retail and wholesale customers of PNM.
Based in Albuquerque, PNM Resources is an energy holding company that recorded consolidated operating revenues of $1.4b in 2018. Through its regulated utilities, PNM and TNMP, PNM Resources holds nearly 2,671MW of generation capacity, providing electricity to power more than 781,000 homes and businesses in New Mexico and Texas.