Pattern Energy Group LP, a privately owned developer and operator of wind and energy storage projects, has completed financing and started the full construction process of its Western Spirit Transmission Line and its suite of Western Spirit Wind power projects – totaling more than 1,050 MW – located in Guadalupe, Lincoln and Torrance Counties in central New Mexico.
The projects are targeted for commercial operation by the end of 2021.
“This is a big day for New Mexico as we ramp up more than a gigawatt of our Western Spirit Wind projects for the largest single-phase construction of renewable power in U.S. history,” says Mike Garland, CEO of Pattern Energy. “Tapping some of the best wind in the world, the Western Spirit Wind projects have a powerful generation profile with an evening peak that is a perfect complement to daytime solar and displaces the need for more expensive fossil fuels. Pattern Energy is committed to harnessing this natural power source to create more than 1,000 new jobs and generate more than $2 billion in net economic impact.”
The Western Spirit Wind projects will utilize a total of 377 GE wind turbines ranging from 2.3 to 2.8 MW in size and will utilize various tower heights to optimize the wind capture for the project. The wind projects will be constructed in conjunction with the Western Spirit Transmission Line, an approximately 150 mile, 345 kV AC transmission line that will add much-needed accessibility for New Mexico’s wind resources to the electricity grid. GE’s 2 MW platform has a 98%+ availability track record that makes it well suited to provide clean energy in support of New Mexico’s renewable energy goals. GE’s turbine supply agreement also includes a 10-year full-service agreement (FSA).
The Western Spirit Transmission Line is being developed jointly between Pattern Energy and the New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority (RETA) and will interconnect directly into the Public Service Company of New Mexico system (PNM). PNM will acquire and operate the transmission line upon its commissioning.
GE Energy Consulting provided a range of power system and equipment studies to Pattern Energy supporting the new transmission line, substations, series capacitor bank and wind farm being installed. These studies are used to evaluate, size and specify the transmission and power equipment and ensure proper operation of the overall system once installed.
GE Energy Financial Services underwrote and will provide a portion of the tax equity to the project.
Photo: The first turbine being erected at Pattern Energy’s Western Spirit Wind power projects