The US Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has approved the SunZia Southwest transmission project proposed to be developed by Pattern Energy Group to supply up to 4.5GW of clean energy throughout the US Southwest.

According to the DOI, the project is planned to comprise two 500kV transmission lines to deliver the renewable power generated in New Mexico to markets in Arizona and California.

A record of decision given by the BLM in this regard will enable Pattern Energy to move ahead with its plans to launch the full construction of the SunZia Southwest transmission project in the summer of this year.

US Land and Minerals Management Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Laura Daniel-Davis said: “The Department of the Interior is committed to expanding clean energy development to address climate change, enhance America’s energy security and provide for good-paying union jobs.

“Through robust engagement with states, cities and Tribes, we are proud of the part we play in the all-of-government efforts to diversify the nation’s renewable energy portfolio while at the same time combatting climate change and investing in communities.”

The DOI said that the BLM completed the review of the transmission project in less than two years. The record of decision marks the completion of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process for the project.

Pattern Energy CEO Hunter Armistead said: “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.”

The SunZia Southwest transmission project is expected to span nearly 837km of federal, state, and private lands between central New Mexico and central Arizona.

Its approved route runs from a proposed substation in Torrance County in New Mexico to the existing Pinal Central substation in Pinal County in Arizona.

Most of the power carried by the SunZia transmission project will be generated by Pattern Energy’s 3.5GW SunZia Wind project, which is proposed to be built in New Mexico.

Earlier this month, Quanta Services was selected by Pattern Energy to provide infrastructure solutions for both the SunZia Southwest transmission project and SunZia Wind projects.