New Mexico HVDC transmission line to carry 4 GW of renewable energy

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The proposed $2 billion, 400-mile high-voltage direct current (HVDC) North Path transmission line will have the capacity to move up to 4 GW of renewable energy produced in northeastern New Mexico to the state’s Four Corners region, powering the equivalent of two million homes in New Mexico and across the Southwest. The project will advance through a partnership between the New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority (RETA) and Invenergy Transmission.

The North Path line is expected to begin operations in 2025 and reach completion in 2028. The power will flow through Union County, which RETA estimates has the highest potential in the state for wind energy generation and strong solar potential.

The project will create 3,500 jobs during construction, and generate tens of millions of dollars in annual tax payments to tribal, state and local governments.

“New Mexico North Path will deliver not only clean energy but a wide array of benefits across New Mexico, and we are glad this partnership with RETA shows the project is aligned with the state’s long term energy strategy and goals,” said Will Consuegra, director of transmission development at Invenergy.

Southwestern states have great renewable energy potential, but lack of transmission capacity has been a challenge. With new development of HVDC and AC power lines, the southwest region’s renewable energy generation can be more widely distributed.

Another major transmission project was approved recently by the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC).  SunZia is a 550-mile 525-volt HVDC transmission project. Separately, the New Mexico Public Regulatory Commission issued two approvals of Pattern Energy’s SunZia Wind project, a 3.5 GW proposed wind project in New Mexico that will provide power across the transmission line to Pinal County, Arizona. Once complete, the SunZia Transmission and Wind project represents the largest clean energy project in the U.S., including $8 billion in total investments. It will provide power from central New Mexico to what is estimated to be more than 3 million residents of central Arizona.

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