Clean Line closes acquisition of 345-kV line in New Mexico

Clean Line Energy Partners on June 6 closed its acquisition of Power Network New Mexico, just six weeks after it announced the deal on April 25.

The company had said it was aiming to close the deal within 60 days.

Power Network New Mexico was developing with the New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority (RETA) a 200-mile, 345-kV transmission line. Clean Line and RETA will now collaborate on the project, which has been renamed the Western Spirit Clean Line. 

Clean Line will finance the development and construction of the project.

The transmission line is designed to transport 1,500 MW of renewable energy, mostly generated from wind resources, from east-central New Mexico to Albuquerque, which has access to Four Corners. Coal retirements in the Four Corners area will “free up” transmission capacity heading west, Clean Line CEO Michael Skelly told TransmissionHub on April 25.

Though the project is proposed is to transport renewable energy, the transmission line may not discriminate between energy resources, under FERC’s open access transmission rules. 

The project is estimated to cost between $350m and $400m and is scheduled to enter service in 2Q15, according to TransmissionHub data.

With Western Spirit Clean Line, the company now has two proposed projects in New Mexico. The company is developing the Centennial West HVDC project, a $2.5bn, 900-mile, 600-kV transmission line that begins in Guadalupe, N.M., and ends in Mira Loma, Calif.

The respective resource areas for these projects is about 150 miles apart.

Clean Line is also developing the Plains and Eastern, Grain Belt Express and Rock Island transmission projects.

The company in November 2012 secured a $40m equity investment from National Grid USA. That transaction closed Jan. 25. 

About Rosy Lum 525 Articles
Rosy Lum, Analyst for TransmissionHub, has been covering the U.S. energy industry since 2007. She began her career in energy journalism at SNL Financial, for which she established a New York news desk. She covered topics ranging from energy finance and renewable policies and incentives, to master limited partnerships and ETFs. Thereafter, she honed her energy and utility focus at the Financial Times' dealReporter, where she covered and broke oil and gas and utility mergers and acquisitions.