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Pattern Energy begins work on New Mexico transmission line

January 4, 2021 GMT

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Financing is in place and work has started on a major transmission line that will funnel wind power from central New Mexico to other markets, a California-based renewable energy company announced Monday.

Pattern Energy Group expects the Western Spirit transmission line and four wind farms totaling more than a gigawatt of capacity to come online by the end of 2021.

CEO Mike Garland called it the largest single-phase construction of renewable power in the U.S.

“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, ramping fossil fuels,” he said in a statement.

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Spanning Guadalupe, Lincoln and Torrance counties, developers are promising more than 1,000 temporary construction jobs, 100 permanent jobs and $2 billion in economic impact for the state.

New Mexico’s largest electric utility — Public Service Co. of New Mexico — will own and operate the 150-mile long transmission line when its complete.