Regulatory Approvals

The successful siting of a long-haul transmission project is a lengthy, complex process.

New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority and Pattern Development representatives will work with land, engineering, and environmental specialists to study and review many variables that will determine a route for the Western Spirit Transmission Line. This process includes review and evaluation of potential project impacts, involving federal, state and local managed lands, heavily populated communities, recognized tribal lands, areas with high resource value, known cultural resources, water resources, and federal and state protected species. In addition, engineering considerations such as corridor width and terrain the project may traverse will also be evaluated. After receiving additional stakeholder input and conducting further environmental studies, we will identify a preferred route, as well as alternative routes.

In June of 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) granted Pattern Development the authority to sell transmission rights on the Western Spirit Transmission Line. Receiving this authority from FERC allows Pattern Development to negotiate market-based rates with potential customers of the project, likely energy generators in New Mexico or utilities and other load serving entities in the West.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) completed their review of the relevant portion of the Western Spirit Transmission Line and issued a Grant of Easement in March 2017. Since 2015, Western Spirit has been working closely with the Pueblo and its Tribal Council. The BIA concluded their analysis of the grant under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and issued a Notice of Decision in January 2017