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Bureau of Land Management (BLM) officials have announced the approval of the SunZia Southwest Transmission Project.

The US$ 2 billion project will help enable future development of wind and solar energy from New Mexico and Arizona, providing renewable power to the growing desert Southwest region. The project will construct, operate and maintain two parallel 500-kilovolt transmission lines and ancillary facilities located on federal, state and private lands between the proposed SunZia East Substation in Lincoln County, New Mexico, and the existing Pinal Central Substation in Pinal County, Arizona, a distance of about 515 miles. The project has the potential to enable the addition of 3,000MW of electric capacity to the desert Southwest. The SunZia Project is one of six priority projects of the Obama Administration’s Rapid Response Team for Transmission, which works to improve the overall quality and timeliness of permitting for electric transmission infrastructure. The project must still secure state and local permits and rights-of-way from private and state landowners before construction can begin.

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