Project Description

The Western Spirit Clean Line is a New Mexico energy infrastructure project that will enable substantial wind energy development, create hundreds of jobs and provide revenue for local communities. The 140-mile electric transmission line will gather wind energy from the wind-rich central region of New Mexico and deliver approximately 1,000 megawatts (MW) of power to the existing electric grid in northwestern New Mexico. The Western Spirit Clean Line will facilitate new, low-cost wind generation that could not otherwise be built due to lack of transmission capacity. 

The Western Spirit Clean Line is being jointly developed by Clean Line Energy Partners and the New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority (RETA). The New Mexico legislature created RETA by statute in 2007 as a governmental instrumentality to finance, plan, acquire, maintain and operate certain renewable transmission and energy storage facilities in concert with the private sector. Once operational, RETA will own the Western Spirit Clean Line transmission facilities.

The project is estimated to bring the following economic benefits to New Mexico: new investment of over $1.5 billion in renewable generation and transmission, new jobs to support the renewable energy industry in the state, and improved reliability of the New Mexico transmission grid. By integrating more renewables in the energy supply mix, the project will save scarce water resources and result in meaningful reductions in air and water pollutants and carbon dioxide emissions.

WESTERN SPIRIT CLEAN LINE QUICK FACTS

  • The Western Spirit Clean Line will collect renewable power from central New Mexico and deliver approximately 1,000 megawatts (MW) of power to the existing electric grid in northwestern New Mexico.
  • The Western Spirit Clean Line will transport clean power via an approximately 140-mile transmission line, complementing the efforts of the Centennial West Clean Line project.
  • In 2010, RETA commissioned studies by Los Alamos National Laboratory and identified the Western Spirit Clean Line project as a means of facilitating transmission in eastern and central New Mexico.
  • The development and construction of the Western Spirit Clean Line is an investment of approximately $150 million, that will enable over $1.5 billion of new, renewable generation projects that would not otherwise be built due to limitations of the existing electric transmission grid.
  • The Western Spirit Clean Line will deliver enough clean, renewable energy to power approximately 590,000 homes, dramatically reducing pollutants by millions of tons.
  • The Western Spirit Clean Line will reduce water withdrawal from lakes and rivers by 850 million gallons per year – water that would otherwise be needed for cooling thermal power plants.