SunZia Transmission

New Mexico and Arizona

New Mexico boasts some of the most abundant, constant wind resource in the United States. SunZia Transmission will carry this energy resource to areas with high demand for power, delivering fuel-free, affordable energy to Arizona and the Western United States. 

As the country accelerates a transition to greater amounts of clean renewable energy, new infrastructure is needed to access and deliver these resources. SunZia Transmission is privately developed and funded by Pattern Energy. The project is partnered with the New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority (RETA) for development in New Mexico.

Benefitting New Mexico & Arizona

In connection with SunZia Transmission, Pattern Energy is developing the SunZia Wind project in, Lincoln, Torrance, and San Miguel counties, New Mexico. Once complete, SunZia Transmission, along with SunZia Wind will constitute the largest clean energy infrastructure project in United States history, harnessing and delivering over 3,000 MW of renewable energy; enough to power the needs of more than 2.5 million Americans.  

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  • SunZia Wind and Transmission will deliver widespread economic benefits across New Mexico and Arizona, with an estimated investment of over $8 billion.  Of that investment, an estimated $1 billion will go to governments, communities, schools, and landowners across New Mexico and Arizona. These benefits are generated through sales & use taxes, property taxes, and land payments to federal, state, and private landowners. 

  • The SunZia Wind and Transmission projects will create more than 2,000 construction jobs during peak construction. Once operational, more than 150 permanent staff will operate and maintain the projects.  

SunZia Transmission is a 550-mile bi-directional ± 525 kV high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line spanning central New Mexico and south-central Arizona.

SunZia Transmission uses state-of-the-art HVDC technology with better efficiency than comparable alternating current (AC) technology to transmit the same amount of power. HVDC is the most efficient and cost-effective technology to move large amounts of power over long distances. 

Projected Schedule

  • 2023
    Target full construction start

  • 2025
    Target operations
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SunZia Transmission History

In July 2022, Pattern Energy acquired the SunZia Transmission Project. 

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  • Conceptualized in 2006, the project team continuously worked with landowners, communities, and government entities at state and federal levels, to establish the most environmentally responsible and efficient path across New Mexico and Arizona.   

  • Approved in 2015, SunZia later adjusted the route in collaboration with the Department of Defense and White Sands Missile Range, taking advantage of the opportunity to partially parallel the existing Western Spirit Transmission line. This 35-mile improvement helped minimize environmental impacts. 

  • In May, 2022, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released a draft environmental impact statement for the SunZia Southwest Transmission Project. Final project approvals including BLM Record of Decision and Right of Way Grant are anticipated in early 2023. 

  • In July 2022, Pattern Energy acquired the SunZia Transmission Project. 

    In November, 2022, the Arizona Corporate Commission made a unanimous decision to grant a Certificate of Environmental Certification for the SunZia Transmission Line.

Information, Resources, and Public Documents

We believe in being good neighbors through long-term engagement. Pattern Energy commits to respecting landowners and communities that host our projects through relationship building, open communication, listening, and receiving feedback.

We encourage you to call or email our team to start a conversation.   

Routing

Guided by environmental analysis and community feedback, SunZia’s route avoids densely populated areas and–where feasible–is located near existing linear infrastructure including transmission lines and roads.

SunZia’s final location will be determined by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) after completing an extensive multi-year Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process that began in 2008 pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act.

The EIS process analyzes impacts to environmental resources and takes into account potential impacts on wildlife, water, and cultural sites as well as aesthetic and recreational assets.

Transmission Structures

Typical structure type

Mostly lattice steel structures with monopoles at some locations.

Structure height

Tower heights will vary up to a maximum of 200 feet high depending on terrain and clearance requirements.

Span

The distance between structures will be approximately 1,400 feet. This separation will vary depending on route elevation and terrain. On flat ground, structures can be located further apart than in areas where there are hills, steep slopes or significant changes in elevation.

Access roads

Access to the line and structure locations will use existing roadways wherever possible. New roads that are used only during construction will be restored.

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FAQ

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