Pattern Energy completes New Mexico energy project


Pattern Energy Group LP has completed construction and begun commercial operation of its suite of Western Spirit Wind power projects, comprised of four wind-power facilities totaling more than 1,050 MW in Guadalupe, Lincoln, and Torrance counties in central New Mexico.

The four wind-power facilities that comprise Western Spirit Wind use a total of 377 GE wind turbines ranging from 2.3 to 2.8 MW in size. The GE turbines use various tower heights to optimize the wind capture at each facility.

The four wind-power facilities that comprise Western Spirit Wind use a total of 377 GE wind turbines ranging from 2.3 to 2.8 MW in size. (Courtesy: Pattern Energy)

“The largest renewable energy project in American history is now up and running — right here in New Mexico,” said New Mexico Sen. Martin Heinrich. “Western Spirit encompasses four new utility-scale wind sites that connect rural communities in central New Mexico to local customers and other major energy markets beyond our state’s borders. This project literally changed the map of our state’s energy landscape, allowing New Mexico to help power our nation with clean electrons.”

“Western Spirit Wind is a groundbreaking megaproject that demonstrates large-scale renewables can be developed and built in the United States,” said Mike Garland, CEO of Pattern Energy. “These projects create significant job opportunities and local economic investments. Western Spirit brought over 1,100 construction jobs to New Mexico, generated local spending, tax revenue, and landowner payments in a remote area of New Mexico, and is now delivering enough renewable energy to meet the electricity needs of more than 900,000 Americans. Pattern Energy has committed to $6 billion in upcoming wind energy and related infrastructure projects in the state over the next decade. Together, we are building a cleaner and more sustainable future in New Mexico.”

The wind project and accompanying transmission line involved more than 1,100 workers on-site during the 15-month construction period, including heavy equipment operators, electricians, laborers, and others. More than 50 workers will operate and maintain the Western Spirit Wind facilities in New Mexico.

Western Spirit Wind is projected to provide an estimated $3 million per year for the three counties and two school districts in the project area.

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. Western Spirit Wind will also provide power to New Mexico municipalities, including Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities, through the Uniper Global Commodities power purchase agreement.

The wind power generated by Western Spirit Wind has a complementary generation profile to solar and typically delivers power around the clock. Western Spirit’s wind power 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.

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