The SunZia Project consists of two bi-directional extra-high voltage electric transmission lines and substations that will transport energy from Arizona and New Mexico to customers and markets across the Desert Southwest. SunZia’s total transmission capacity has an approved rating from the Western Electricity Coordinating Council of 3,000 megawatts across its entire length for two single-circuit 500 kV AC lines. SunZia is solely an electric transmission project, and is not a power generation facility. Click here for a more detailed description of the project.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), along with several cooperating agencies, is leading the effort to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
On June 14, 2013 the BLM released the SunZia Final Environmental Impact Statement and Proposed Resource Management Plan Amendments.
SunZia is anticipated to be in-service by 2018.
Benefits of the SunZia Southwest Transmission Project:
Provides an option to develop power generation resources, including renewable resources, located in Arizona and New Mexico that currently do not have nearby access to transmission service; and
Delivers these generation resources to customers along SunZia’s alignment and western markets; and
Increases reliability of the existing extra-high voltage transmission system in southern Arizona and southern New Mexico; and
Greatly improves power transfer across the Desert Southwest electricity grid; and
Generates jobs and wage income in addition to revenues for state and local governments through property, state and local taxes paid by the SunZia Project and generation projects that may utilize SunZia’s new transmission capacity. An Economic Impact Assessment was prepared by the University of Arizona and New Mexico State University.
Use the following links to learn more about:
NM RETA Sponsors SunZia Project
December 15, 2014
On December 11th, the Board of Directors of the New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority (NM RETA) approved a Memorandum of Understanding with the SunZia Project. As a NM RETA sponsored project, SunZia will work with this agency to review financing opportunities to assist with the creation of transmission infrastructure needed to access the state's significant renewable energy resources.
BLM releases Draft EA and Preliminary FONNSI on the Underground Segments in New Mexico
December 1, 2014
An Environmental Assessment (EA) was prepared by the BLM to study the environmental impacts of burying three segments of the 500 kV project for about five miles. The commitment to bury a small portion of SunZia is a result of a May 2014 proposal from Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel that offered a mitigation strategy that would resolve any impacts the transmission line might have on military operations, including low-altitude testing activity. One of the mitigation proposals was to bury three overhead segments which would prevent SunZia from impeding military activities that are conducted over BLM, New Mexico state trust lands and private property in an area about thirty miles north of White Sands Missile Range.
According to the BLM, the agency, “…preliminarily concluded that the DOD mitigation proposal is not a substantial change from the Preferred Alternative and would not have new impacts significantly different from those analyzed in the 2013 Final EIS. Therefore, the BLM has reached a preliminary [Finding of No New Significant Impact] FONNSI and the agency would proceed with consideration of the Preferred Alternative identified in the SunZia Final EIS as modified by the DOD mitigation proposal.” Read BLM’s News Release.
SunZia is in the process of implementing the other three components of DOD’s four-part Mitigation Proposal, as described by Defense Under Secretary Frank Kendall. Read the Mitigation Proposal.
The BLM is providing a 30-day public review and comment period that is expected to close on December 29, 2014.