The proposed SunZia Southwest Transmission Project (Project) comprises two planned 500 kilovolt (kV) transmission lines located across approximately 520 miles of Federal, State, and private lands between central New Mexico and central Arizona. The purpose of the Project is to transport up to 4,500 megawatts of primarily renewable energy from New Mexico to markets in Arizona and California.
The Project was evaluated through the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process from 2009 to 2015 when and Record of Decision was issued for a Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), authorizing a right-of-way (ROW) grant for the Project on federal lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). SunZia has submitted a new application to amend their existing BLM ROW grant. The proposed amendments are comprised of the following four components:
- Changes to access roads and temporary work areas on Federal lands;
- Localized route modifications in five areas along the selected route;
- Three reroute alternatives near Socorro, NM, proposed to address DoD concerns about WSMR, parallel another proposed transmission line, and move the east substation closer to proposed wind generation projects; and
- The addition of a substation (SunZia West) on private land in Arizona.