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Activists seek to reroute a 33-mile section of a transmission project that would run through the San Pedro River Valley. The valley is an important north-south migratory bird flyway, and its riparian habitat is key to protecting several threatened and endangered species, they say.

A 550-mile transmission line that promises to deliver central New Mexico wind resources to load centers in Arizona and California appears to be nearing the permitting finish line, but an Arizona lawsuit challenging a 45-mile segment of the route might present a final hurdle for the project.

Pattern Energy's SunZia Southwest Transmission Project has been in the works for 16 years and received a final environmental impact statement and resource management plan from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's New Mexico State Office in February. Pattern anticipates final approval from BLM in the form of a record of decision by mid-May, after which it plans to begin construction along the project's path.

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Pattern Energy's 3-GW HVDC SunZia transmission line will deliver power from the company’s 3.5-GW SunZia wind farms in central New Mexico. The wind resources are expected to relieve demand pressure by offering emissions-free generation that typically accelerates as solar energy declines in the late afternoon and evening.

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Associate Editor - California Energy Markets

Abigail Sawyer grew up in northwestern New Mexico near two massive coal-fired power plants. She spent many hours gazing out the car window at transmission lines on family road trips across the Southwest and now reports on the region from San Francisco.