Turbines ordered and construction underway on gigawatt-scale wind farm and transmission line in New Mexico

Wind Turbine with Sky and Trees

This week, GE Renewable Energy announced that it received a 1050-MW, 377-turbine order from Pattern Energy to supply turbines to the Western Spirit Wind farms in New Mexico. The agreement also includes a 10‐year full‐service agreement.

Western Spirit Wind will utilize turbines ranging from 2.3‐2.8 in nameplate rating and various tower heights to optimize wind capture.

Pattern Energy also announced that it has completed financing and started the full construction process of its Western Spirit Transmission line as well as the suite of Western Spirit Wind power projects in Guadalupe, Lincoln and Torrance Counties in central New Mexico.

The Western Spirit Transmission Line is 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 in New Mexico and the broader western markets. 

The 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 power system and equipment studies to Pattern Energy, supporting the new transmission line, substations, series capacitor bank and wind farm being installed. These studies will evaluate, size, and specify the transmission and power equipment and ensure proper operation of the overall system once installed, according to a press release.

GE Energy Financial Services underwrote and will provide a portion of the tax equity to the project.

Tim White, CEO of GE Renewable Energy for Onshore Americas, said, “GE’s 2 MW platform is extremely well suited to the region, with 98%+ availability to help ensure the reliability of sustainable, affordable, renewable energy delivery to the region.”

Mike Garland, CEO of Pattern Energy, added, “Western Spirit Wind and the Western Spirit Transmission Line will bring more than a thousand construction jobs to New Mexico and billions of dollars in economic benefit, while creating a significant new source of clean power.”

Commercial operation is expected to take place before the end of 2021.

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