Pattern Energy opens Western Spirit Wind power facilities

Pattern Energy’s Western Spirit Wind in New Mexico

Pattern Energy Group announced the opening of its Western Spirit Wind power facilities in central New Mexico.

Western Spirit Wind is comprised of four wind power projects located in Guadalupe, Lincoln, and Torrance Counties in central New Mexico, totaling more than 1,050 megawatts (MW) of clean power capacity, enough to meet the electricity needs of 900,000 Americans each year.

“The largest wind power project in the entire country is now producing strong benefits for the state of New Mexico, including millions of dollars in tax revenue to local counties and school districts,” said Mike Garland, CEO of Pattern Energy. “We have committed to $6 billion in upcoming wind energy and related infrastructure projects in New Mexico over the next decade.”

Western Spirit Wind will provide clean, renewable energy to California and New Mexico through power purchase agreements with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, San Jose Clean Energy, East Bay Community Energy, California Choice Energy Authority and member cities, and international energy company Uniper Global Commodities, which provides power to local New Mexicans.

The four wind power facilities that comprise Western Spirit Wind utilize a total of 377 GE wind turbines ranging from 2.3 to 2.8 MW in size. The GE turbines utilize various tower heights to optimize the wind capture at each facility. Blattner Energy was the EPC Contractor for the four wind facilities.

The wind project and accompanying transmission line involved approximately 1,500 workers on-site during peak construction, including heavy equipment operators, electricians, laborers, and others. Going forward, more than 50 workers will operate and maintain the Western Spirit Wind facilities in New Mexico.

The Western Spirit Transmission line, which enabled the suite of Western Spirit Wind projects to be connected to the grid, was developed jointly by Pattern Energy and the New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority (RETA).

The 155-mile 345 kV transmission line, completed in December, is delivering wind power from Western Spirit Wind in central New Mexico to the electric grid managed by Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) near Albuquerque. PNM owns and will operate the transmission line. The transmission line was constructed by EC Source, a MasTec Company.

Image: The opening of Western Spirit Wind featured LADWP General Manager Martin Adams, LADWP Board President Cynthia McClain-Hill, Congresswoman Teresa Leger Fernandez, Pattern Energy CEO Mike Garland, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and American Clean Power Association CEO Heather Zichal.