Pattern Energy Group 2 LP (Pattern Development) announced the acquisition of two development assets in New Mexico from Clean Line Energy Partners: the Western Spirit Transmission Line (Western Spirit) and the Mesa Canyons Wind Farm (Mesa Canyons). The addition of Mesa Canyons will bring Pattern Development’s wind development footprint in the Estancia Valley of New Mexico to more than 3,000 MW.
Mesa Canyons and Western Spirit are both in advanced stages of development and are expected to begin construction next year, with a targeted in-service date of 2020. Mesa Canyons will directly interconnect to Western Spirit, delivering power to the New Mexico grid at the existing Rio Puerco substation owned by Public Service Company of New Mexico. Collectively, these two projects are estimated to bring hundreds of construction jobs to rural New Mexico, millions of dollars in increased tax revenue to the state, and billions of dollars in long-term economic impact over the life of the projects.
U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich has been a major proponent of New Mexico wind energy development and the transmission needed to bring wind power to market. “New Mexico is leading the way in producing wind power and will continue to be at the forefront of America’s clean energy success story,” said Senator Heinrich.
He added: “With Pattern Development’s acquisition of the Western Spirit Transmission Line and the Mesa Canyons Wind Farm, we are one step closer to being able to access and export our state’s vast renewable energy resources to major energy markets. These projects will spur job creation in rural New Mexico and generate billions of dollars in economic impact. We need to seize these opportunities to diversify our economy and chart a course for a more prosperous future for New Mexico.”
U.S. Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham, who is also a major supporter of renewable energy development in the state, said: “New Mexico has some of the best wind and solar resources in the nation and that has the potential to not only transform our state’s economy but lay the foundation for a clean energy future. Today’s announced investment will continue to develop our quickly growing wind industry that is creating jobs, diversifying our economy, and increase economic development in our state.”
The New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority (RETA) has also been working with Clean Line Energy Partners for several years to co-develop the Western Spirit line to bring it to an advanced stage of development, and that relationship with RETA will continue with Pattern Development. “RETA Continues to see development opportunities for renewable resources in New Mexico, and we are pleased to have a new capable partner to ensure this project comes to fruition,” said Chairman Bob Busch.
The announcement was made at the Estancia Valley Economic Development Association (EVEDA) annual meeting in Edgewood, NM. “EVEDA has worked for the past twenty years to successfully bring viable renewable energy and transmission projects into our region,” said EVEDA’s director Myra Pancrazio. \“We are ecstatic that Pattern Development has selected Central New Mexico to further their existing New Mexico pipeline and will also be continuing the development of the Western Spirit Transmission Line and Mesa Canyons Wind Farm. Our partnership with Pattern Development has been strong and productive and we look forward to assisting the team in their development of these newly acquired projects.”
Both Western Spirit and Mesa Canyons enjoy the ongoing support of the New Mexico State Land Office, which anticipates bringing more than 11,000 acres of State Trust Lands to the Mesa Canyons. Said Commissioner Aubrey Dunn, “This is exactly the type of public-private partnership that will bring much needed investment to New Mexico. We welcome Pattern Development, and we believe that wind will be an important part of our state’s energy mix for the future.” The state will collect revenue from its leases with both Mesa Canyons and Western Spirit, which will directly benefit New Mexico schools.
Pattern Development’s experience in New Mexico includes the 324 MW Broadview Wind facilities and the 345kV AC Western Interconnect Transmission facility, both of which were placed into service in 2017, as well as the 221 MW Grady Wind facility, which will commence construction this summer and is planned to enter commercial operations in the spring of 2019.
“As the leading wind developer and operator in New Mexico, Pattern Development is uniquely positioned to bring the Western Spirit Transmission Line and the Mesa Canyons Wind Farm to fruition,” said Mike Garland, CEO of Pattern Development. “New Mexico is home to one of the strongest wind resources in the country and Pattern Development is committed to developing and constructing these new projects as excellent additions to our portfolio, expanding our investment in this enchanting state.”