1,050 MW wind power megaproject is now generating clean power for 900,000 Americans.
Pattern Energy Group LP (Pattern Energy) announced the Grand Opening of its Western Spirit Wind power facilities. Western Spirit Wind is comprised of four wind power projects located in Guadalupe, Lincoln, and Torrance Counties in central New Mexico, totaling more than 1,050 megawatts (MW) of clean power capacity, enough to meet the electricity needs of 900,000 Americans each year.
“This project is doing it all: creating good-paying jobs, providing clean power to New Mexico and beyond, and cutting emissions from the energy sector,” said Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. “New Mexico is leading the pack – nationally and globally – in the renewable energy space. At the state level, at the county level, at the city level, at the village level, New Mexico is all in on the economic and environmental benefits this industry provides.”
U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich said, “The Western Spirit Transmission Line literally rewrote the energy landscape in New Mexico—allowing us to build four new utility-scale wind projects in central and eastern New Mexico that make up the largest single-phase wind project in all of North America. I was proud to support this project every step of the way. As we build more transformative infrastructure projects like this, New Mexico will grow our ability to export cleanly generated electrons to hungry energy markets in neighboring states and import thousands of good-paying jobs and billions of dollars of private investment back into our communities.”
“The largest wind power project in the entire country is now producing strong benefits for the state of New Mexico, including millions of dollars in tax revenue to local counties and school districts,” said Mike Garland, CEO of Pattern Energy. “This is just the beginning. We have committed to $6 billion in upcoming wind energy and related infrastructure projects in New Mexico over the next decade, putting thousands of people to work. Together, we are building a cleaner and more sustainable future.”
Western Spirit Wind will provide clean, renewable energy to California and New Mexico through long-term power purchase agreements with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, San José Clean Energy, East Bay Community Energy, California Choice Energy Authority and member cities, and international energy company Uniper Global Commodities, which provides power to local New Mexicans.
“If we’re going to make this decade one of exponential climate action, we need more than just bold goals and lofty long-term promises — we need real solutions and results today,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Bringing this state-of-the-art facility online makes it our largest wind project to date — providing clean energy for hundreds of thousands of Angelenos and bringing us one major step closer to becoming a city powered without fossil fuels.”
“The energy we receive from Western Spirit will power 186,000 San José homes annually with clean, pollution-free electricity for the next 15 years,” said San José Mayor Sam Liccardo. “I’m proud that San José Clean Energy is helping invest in California’s renewable energy future so we can leave a more livable planet to future generations.”
The four wind power facilities that comprise Western Spirit Wind utilize a total of 377 GE wind turbines ranging from 2.3 to 2.8 MW in size. The GE turbines utilize various tower heights to optimize the wind capture at each facility. Blattner Energy was the EPC Contractor for the four wind facilities.
The wind project and accompanying transmission line involved approximately 1,500 workers on-site during peak construction, including heavy equipment operators, electricians, laborers, and others. Going forward, more than 50 workers will operate and maintain the Western Spirit Wind facilities in New Mexico.
Western Spirit Wind will have far-reaching economic benefits for the local area and is projected to provide an estimated $3 million per year for the three counties and two school districts in the project area. Stable, long-term funding directly contributes to improved quality of education, services, roads and first responder capabilities for the entire community.
The power generated by Western Spirit Wind has a complementary generation profile to solar and typically delivers power around the clock. The power produced by the facility will provide resource diversification to western energy markets to help meet customer demand during the crucial early evening hours when demand is high but otherwise available renewable energy supply is typically low.
The Western Spirit Transmission line, which enabled the suite of Western Spirit Wind projects to be connected to the grid, was developed jointly by Pattern Energy and the New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority (RETA). The 155-mile 345 kV transmission line, completed in December, is delivering wind power from Western Spirit Wind in central New Mexico to the electric grid managed by Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) near Albuquerque. PNM now owns and will operate the transmission line. The transmission line was constructed by EC Source, a MasTec Company.
For more information about Western Spirt Wind and Pattern Energy’s operations in New Mexico, please visit patternenergynewmexico.com.
Pattern Energy is one of the world’s largest privately-owned developers and operators of wind, solar, transmission, and energy storage projects. Its operational portfolio includes 35 renewable energy facilities that use proven, best-in-class technology with an operating capacity of more than 5,900 MW in the United States, Canada, Japan, and Mexico. Pattern Energy is guided by a long-term commitment to serve customers, protect the environment, and strengthen communities. For more information, visit patternenergy.com.