Lucky Corridor proposes new 115-kV line in New Mexico

Lucky Corridor is embarking on a new project in New Mexico, the 102-mile, 115-kV Mora line.

The project, which will deliver 180 MW of wind generated from Phase I of the Gallegos Wind Farm to a substation owned by Public Service Co. of New Mexico, is estimated to cost $67m. The Mora line is independent of the company’s first announced project in New Mexico, the Lucky Corridor line, and does not cross any federal lands.

The Gallegos Wind Farm has begun construction and its owner intends to capture the production tax credit.

“Our tenant is under construction and that means we are moving forward with acquiring right-of-way, permitting and doing everything it takes to build the Mora line,” Lucky Corridor CEO Lynn Green told TransmissionHub.

The early stage developer of Gallegos is looking for a partner to provide $1.5m of capital, according to Glen Black, manager of Gallegos Wind Farm Phase I.

Lucky re-designs Lucky Corridor project

Lucky Corridor has re-designed its eponymous project, the 130-mile Lucky Corridor line, to a single-circuit 345-kV line from double-circuit 230-kV line, and is no longer working with Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, with which it had a joint study agreement, on the project.

The Lucky Corridor transmission line is designed to transport electricity generated from renewable resources in eastern and northern New Mexico to the NYMEX trading hub, Four Corners.

The Lucky Corridor transmission project as re-designed is a 345-kV single-circuit line that would run from the existing Ojo substation, near Espanola, and the existing Gladstone 230-kV substation, located near Farley. The line is proposed to parallel an existing 345-kV transmission line that runs from the Ojo substation to the Taos substation, and then to parallel an existing 115-kV line from the Taos substation, located near Taos, to the Black Lake substation, near Angel Fire, to the Springer substation, near Springer, and on to the Gladstone substation.

As originally conceived, the project proposed to upgrade to two 230-kV circuits Tri-State’s 115-kV line that runs from Taos to Gladstone. Under this original proposal, Tri-State would continue to own the ROW and physical assets of the project, and would own capacity equal to the 200 MW on the 115-kV line. Lucky would own the capacity created by the upgrade.

The redesigned project is estimated to cost $260m, comprising $180m in debt financing and $80m in development financing and project equity. The estimate is $83m less than the 230-kV alternative.

The company has completed civil engineering on both the 345-kV and 230-kV proposals, both of which would require 150-foot ROW, and is seeking permitting for both systems.

The company has secured 32 miles of contiguous, 150-foot wide right-of-way, with 100% landowner support for the project. Of that 32 miles, 7.5 miles of ROW were obtained from the state.

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.