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PROJECT OVERVIEW

The Western Spirit Transmission Line

The Western Spirit Transmission Line is a proposed 140-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 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.

PROJECT MAP

Updated 7/23/2018

WESTERN SPIRIT TRANSMISSION LINE

Quick Facts

Collect Renewable Power
The Western Spirit Transmission Line will collect renewable power from central New Mexico and deliver approximately 1,000 megawatts (MW) of power to the existing electric grid in northwestern New Mexico.
Facilitating Transmission
In 2010, RETA commissioned studies by Los Alamos National Laboratory and identified the Western Spirit Transmission Line project as a means of facilitating transmission in eastern and central New Mexico.
Reduce Water Withdrawal
The Western Spirit Transmission Line will reduce water withdrawal from lakes and rivers by 850 million gallons per year – water that would otherwise be needed for cooling thermal power plants.
140 mile Transmission Line
The Western Spirit Transmission Line will transport clean power via an approximately 140-mile transmission line.
$1.5 billion of New, Renewable Generation Projects
The development and construction of the Western Spirit Transmission Line is an investment of approximately $150 million, which will enable over $1.5 billion of new, renewable generation projects that would not otherwise be built due to limitations of the existing electric transmission grid.
Renewable Energy to Power Approximately 590,000 Homes
The Western Spirit Transmission Line will deliver enough clean, renewable energy to power approximately 590,000 homes, dramatically reducing pollutants by millions of tons.