Wind farm proposed at popular I-40 stop in New Mexico

Anyone who’s taken the drive along Interstate 40 west into New Mexico no doubt knows Clines Corners. It’s the cut-off toward Santa Fe or also a good stop for a break from driving across the long stretch of the interstate.

But Clines Corners now wants to build a wind farm at the site. New Mexico’s Public Regulation Commission will hold a public hearing on Sept. 19 to consider the application filed by the Clines Corners Wind Farm LLC, a company that wants to invest nearly $589 million in renewable energy in the state.

The wind farm would consist of up to 600 MW of wind power facilities and be located within an area of about 40,000 acres across Torrance and Guadalupe counties on private land. Clines Corners also said that it has obtained, or will obtain, agreements with landowners and the State of New Mexico as needed prior to commencement of construction.

State regulators will also consider the firm’s request to build a nearly 19 mile 345-kV alternating current transmission line.

 

Clines Corners noted that to produce the desired energy, it is anticipated that there would be up to 220 wind turbines with a nameplate capacity ranging from 2 MW to 4.2 MW. Each turbine would be connected by 34.5-kV collection lines to a proposed electric substation that would be located within the Clines Corners Wind Study Area.

Clines Corners added that it intends that the wind farm would be interconnected via the Gen-Tie System to the proposed Western Spirit transmission line at a point that is about 11 miles west-northwest of Encino.

Clines Corners said that its objective is to increase transmission capacity for renewable energy, noting that the wind resource in New Mexico is one of the strongest and most abundant in the country. However, Clines Corners said, New Mexico lacks adequate transmission infrastructure to bring the resource to western markets. The proposed Gen-Tie System is necessary to address the lack of transmission segments with available transfer capacity in the state to deliver a high-demand renewable resource to western markets, Clines Corners said.

According to the filing, through the project, Clines Corners would invest a total of about $589m in renewable energy generation in New Mexico. The filing also noted that the project is expected to be in service as early as the end of 2020.

As noted in the application, Clines Corners is a wholly owned subsidiary of Orion Wind Resources LLC, which is owned by a joint venture between Orion Renewable Energy Group LLC and MAP Energy.

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