Pattern Energy welcomes the U.S. Department of Interior Bureau of Land Management’s Record of Decision on the SunZia Transmission project, enabling 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, comprising more than 3,500 MW of new wind generation located in Torrance, Lincoln, and San Miguel Counties in New Mexico.
Image source: Courtesy of Pattern Energy
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