The Western Spirit Transmission Line is a proposed approximately 150 mile, 345 kilovolt transmission line that will collect renewable power from wind-rich central New Mexico and deliver approximately 1,000 megawatts (MW) of power to the existing grid in north western New Mexico. The Western Spirit Transmission Line is currently under joint development by the Renewable Energy Transmission Authority of New Mexico (RETA) and Pattern Development (Pattern). The New Mexico legislature created RETA by statute in 2007 as a governmental instrumentality to finance, plan, acquire, maintain, and operate certain renewable transmission and energy storage facilities in concert with the private sector. Once operational, the New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority (RETA) will own the Western Spirit Transmission Line.
The Western Spirit Transmission Line
The project is estimated to bring a number of economic benefits to New Mexico, including:
- New investment of over $1.5 billion in renewable generation and transmission
- New jobs to support the renewable energy industry in the state
- Improved reliability of the New Mexico transmission grid
By integrating more renewables in the energy supply mix, the project will save scarce water resources and result in meaningful reductions in air and water pollutants, as well as carbon dioxide emissions.