PNM to Expand Transmission Line to Bolster Renewable Energy

The Western Spirit line, set to accommodate roughly 800 megawatts of new wind energy, is scheduled for completion in 2021.
Visual created with images via Pixabay

PNM, the wholly owned New Mexico utility subsidiary of PNM Resources, has signed an agreement with an affiliate of Pattern Energy Group 2 and the New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority to acquire a renewable transmission project called Western Spirit. The project will support the development of new wind resources in eastern New Mexico.

NM RETA and Pattern Development have partnered to develop and construct the Western Spirit transmission project. PNM will acquire Western Spirit upon completion in 2021, resulting in a $285 million net investment. The capacity additions will provide upgrades to accommodate 800 megawatts of new wind energy.

An affiliate of Pattern Development is a PNM wholesale transmission customer that will fully fund the investment through an incremental rate that is subject to approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and will not impact the rates of existing retail and wholesale customers of PNM. The acquisition is also subject to the necessary regulatory approvals.

“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,” said Pat Vincent-Collawn, PNM Resources’ chairman, president & CEO, in a prepared statement. “The purpose of NM RETA is to encourage this type of renewable investment that brings new construction jobs and tax revenues to the state.”