SunZia, the monumental clean energy initiative in the US Southwest, has successfully closed $11 billion in non-recourse financing, marking a significant milestone as it embarks on full-scale construction. Daniel Elkort, Executive Vice President at Pattern Energy, the project’s California-based developer, emphasized the groundbreaking nature of this financing, underscoring the attractiveness of capital in the renewable energy sector.

Comprising two key components, SunZia Wind and SunZia Transmission, this colossal project is set to be the largest clean energy venture in the United States. The initiative will engage over 2,000 workers during the construction phase, encompassing roles such as heavy equipment operators, electricians, and laborers.

SunZia Wind, recognized as the most extensive wind project in the Western Hemisphere, spans New Mexico’s Torrance, Lincoln, and San Miguel counties. Boasting a capacity of 3,500 megawatts (MW), this wind farm is a pivotal element of the overall SunZia project. On the other hand, SunZia Transmission, a 550-mile high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line, will connect central New Mexico to south-central Arizona, facilitating the transportation of 3,000 MW of clean energy upon completion.

The transmission line is strategically designed to enable SunZia Wind to deliver energy to customers in Arizona and California during peak evening hours when demand is high, and renewable energy supply may be limited. Leveraging the same corridor as the Western Spirit Transmission Line, SunZia Transmission enhances the efficiency and accessibility of the renewable energy generated.

In a recent development, Vestas, a prominent wind turbine manufacturer, secured a substantial order from Pattern Energy Group for SunZia Wind. This order, involving 242 V163-4.5 MW turbines, marks Vestas’ most extensive order in the US market and its largest single onshore project globally. The delivery of turbines is slated to commence in the first quarter of 2025, with final commissioning scheduled for the first half of 2026.

The successful financing and the impending turbine supply underscore SunZia’s pivotal role in advancing clean energy initiatives, showcasing the ability of the renewable energy sector to attract substantial capital on par with traditional generation projects.

By Impact Lab