PNM, a wholly owned New Mexico utility subsidiary of PNM Resources, has announced an agreement with an affiliate of Pattern Energy Group 2 LP (Pattern Development) and the New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority (NM RETA) to acquire a renewable transmission project, Western Spirit, which 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 the project upon completion of construction in 2021, resulting in a $285 million net investment. The capacity additions will strengthen the existing PNM system and provide upgrades to accommodate 800 MW of new wind energy, the utility says.
“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,” states Pat Vincent-Collawn, PNM Resources’ chairman, president and CEO. “The purpose of NM RETA is to encourage this type of renewable investment that brings new construction jobs and tax revenues to the state, and we are pleased to have the opportunity to support these efforts along with Governor Lujan Grisham’s plans to make New Mexico a leader in clean energy.”
An affiliate of Pattern Development, a PNM wholesale transmission customer, will fully fund the investment through an incremental rate that is subject to approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. It will not impact the rates of existing retail and wholesale customers of PNM, the utility maintains. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals.