New Mexico regulators approved construction this month of what could be the Western Hemisphere’s largest wind farm, capable of generating as much power as a mid-sized nuclear power plant. But whether all that energy will have a way to reach the load centers of California and the Southwest remains unclear after the regulators denied approval for new transmission lines meant to link the wind project to urban areas.
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The construction of the massive El Cabo Wind Farm in southern Torrance County is expected to miss the December 2015 deadline to receive the wind energy tax credits after delays with transmission companies caused the project to come to a standstill, said Mark Stacy, director of Iberdrola Renewables.
PJM Interconnection said in a release on Wednesday that grid conditions had changed since the 765-kilovolt, 275-mile PATH transmission line extending from West Virginia to Maryland was proposed by American Electric Power and FirstEnergy in 2007. "Our updated analysis no longer shows a need for the lines to maintain grid stability," PJM said.
New Mexico has huge potential to produce electricity from renewable sources but a small window to develop transmission lines to deliver that power to customers, a lawmaker said Tuesday after listening to a report on the issue. The state Renewable Energy Transmission Authority presented its first statewide transmission report to an interim legislative committee.
Moving renewable energy resources from where they could be produced to where they have a market is the goal of one of the biggest electric transmission projects conceived of in the United States. The name of the project is SunZia Southwest and what the company wants to do is take a fiber cable 460 miles from the southeastern New Mexico area to the Phoenix area. ...The ballpark figure for the completed power transmission line is $1.5 billion, Crane said. "This is a very big project," Crane said. "It is important to understand the primary purpose is to enable renewable resources.
A power transmission line that could be the first in the United States to transport renewable energy might pass through Las Cruces and White Sands Missile Range, according to preliminary plans of the SunZia Transmission Project. A public scoping meeting was conducted Monday at Court Youth Center to provide interested residents with information about the project. Plans call for wind energy generated in east-central New Mexico, near Clovis, to be transported 460 to 560 miles to a substation in south-central Arizona.