FERC approves agreement between Lucky Corridor, PNM regarding Mora Line

Lucky Corridor, LLC on June 7 said that FERC has granted final approval of the Transmission Construction and Interconnection Agreement (TCIA), fully executed between Lucky Corridor and Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM), concerning Lucky Corridor’s 110-mile Mora Line transmission project.

Lucky Corridor said that it is now allowed to proceed with connecting the Union County, N.M., wind energy zone with the existing PNM transmission system, at a PNM substation near Las Vegas, N.M., via the Mora Line.

The company noted that that “first-rate wind and solar resource area in northern and eastern New Mexico has previously been inaccessible, due to lack of transmission.”

According to the FERC’s March 27 letter order, PNM in February filed the executed TCIA with Lucky Corridor under PNM’s Open Access Transmission Tariff. The TCIA addresses a wires-to-wires interconnection of Lucky Corridor’s transmission line to PNM’s 345-kV Arriba station, FERC said.

Waiver of the commission’s notice requirements under certain commission regulations is granted, FERC said, adding that the TCIA is accepted, effective Jan. 29, as requested.

The filing was noticed on Feb. 20, with comments, protests, or motions to intervene due by March 13, FERC said, adding that no protests or adverse comments were filed.

Lucky Corridor CEO Lynn Greene said in the June 7 statement: “This has been a team effort led by New Mexico landowners, officials, electrical engineers and construction companies working with our company to create new tax base in northeastern New Mexico. We want this special wind resource, available even on summer afternoons, to help fund improvements to this region’s schools and hospitals. Many years of electrical engineering have demonstrated that this and our other transmission projects can both benefit the grid, help re-supply the southwestern U.S. after coal plants retire, and bring economic re-development to northeastern New Mexico.”

Lucky Corridor said in the statement that its transmission projects – which, as noted on its website, also include the 62-mile Lucky Corridor project – are designed to help change the energy mix at the Four Corners NYMEX hub, by connecting the existing grid to that resource zone, and allowing import of clean energy into the historic coal hub.

“We are now working on the final financing and other tasks and approvals needed to construct the Mora Line,” Greene said in the statement. “Our team will expand.  We hope more New Mexicans join us on the last leg of the Mora Line’s $65,000,000 journey to connect New Mexico’s clean energy resources to the electric grid of Western North America.”

Company officials told TransmissionHub that the 115-kV Mora Line has a transfer capacity of 180 MW, and an estimated commercial operating date of Sept. 30, 2020. The Mora Line triggers more than $15m of network upgrades to neighboring systems to prepare to receive the electricity, as well as imbedded capex for development costs to date and ongoing, officials said.

The 345-kV Lucky Corridor project has an estimated cost of $131.1m, transfer capacity of at least 700 MW, and an estimated commercial operating date of July 31, 2023. Company officials added that the Transco also has additional projects in early development.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3065 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 15 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at clinares@endeavorb2b.com.