CORONA, N.M. – U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) was joined by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, Senior Advisor to the President John Podesta, U.S. Representative Melanie Stansbury (D-N.M.), and other leaders to commemorate the groundbreaking of SunZia Southwest Transmission Project, two planned 500-kilovolt transmission lines located across approximately 520 miles of federal, state, and private lands between central New Mexico and central Arizona.
“SunZia will have a massive economic impact in New Mexico, creating thousands of jobs in our rural communities, while also bringing us one huge step closer to meeting our climate goals and conserving wildlife habitat. That’s why I fought hard for this project through a whole series of obstacles, and it's why I’m thrilled to welcome the start of construction,” said Heinrich. “The proof is everywhere: the climate crisis is here, and it is the greatest threat we face. But solving the climate crisis by building out clean energy infrastructure like SunZia will also be the greatest economic opportunity of our lifetime."
Senator Heinrich has been a longtime champion of the SunZia Southwest Transmission Project, dating back to 2009, when the project’s permitting process began. When completed, the SunZia Transmission and SunZia Wind projects will become the largest renewable energy infrastructure project in U.S. history, transporting up to 4,500 megawatts of energy from New Mexico to markets in Arizona and California. The project is expected to create over 2,000 jobs during construction and support over 100 permanent jobs once online.
In April, Pattern Energy announced that an independent analysis conducted by the research firm Energy, Economic, & Environmental Consultants LLC found that the SunZiaTransmission and SunZia Wind projects will generate an estimated $20.5 billion in total economic benefits.
This project represents another milestone from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda – a key pillar of Bidenomics – which is working to accelerate transmission buildout to lower consumers’ energy costs, prevent power outages in the face of extreme weather, create good-paying union jobs, and achieve the President’s goal of a 100% clean electricity grid by 2035.
Heinrich is a leading voice in Congress on solutions to improve the way that we permit, plan, and pay for transmission infrastructure to meet our decarbonization goals and support the energy transition, while building the clean energy workforce of tomorrow.
In May and June, Heinrich introduced legislation to improve the way that we permit, plan, and pay for transmission infrastructure to meet our decarbonization goals and support the energy transition, while building the clean energy workforce of tomorrow.
Read more on Heinrich’s legislative priorities pertaining to transmission infrastructure here.