PNM Resources has secured approval from New Mexico regulators in the US to acquire the Western Spirit renewable power transmission project, that would help accommodate 800MW of wind energy.
The company signed an agreement in May to acquire the proposed 140-mile, 345kV power line project from an affiliate of Pattern Energy Group 2 LP (Pattern Development) and the New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority (NM RETA).
The transmission line will collect renewable power from central New Mexico and deliver approximately 1,000MW of energy to the existing grid in northwestern New Mexico. The deal has now been approved by the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, following earlier approval by the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
PNM will become the owner of the Western Spirit project upon its completion in 2021, in return for $285m in net investment.
Pattern Development and NM RETA will be responsible for the development and construction of the transmission line.
Pattern Energy and Pattern Development CEO Mike Garland said: “Today’s favourable ruling by the New Mexico PRC will help New Mexico unlock its world-class wind resources, and it means Pattern Development is on track to create hundreds of construction jobs next year with a major wind and transmission build-out that is deeply in line with the goals of the Energy Transition Act.
“This sound decision will keep the state on a path toward becoming a national leader in clean energy. We believe in New Mexico, and we look forward to continued investment and to being part of the economic fabric of the state for years to come.”
Through its regulated utilities, PNM currently owns about 2,681MW of power generation capacity. The company provides electricity to over 785,000 homes and businesses in New Mexico and Texas.