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Pattern to 'ramp up' 800MW in New Mexico wind build in 2020

The San Francisco-based company is the leading developer in the western state that has become one of the fastest growing wind plays in the US

Pattern Development plans to “ramp up” construction in early 2020 on more than 800MW of new wind facilities in central New Mexico, the US industry’s third fastest-growing state after Texas and Iowa.

The projects include the 200MW Dura Mesa which has power off-take agreements with California utilities Silicon Valley power (110MW) and Monterrey Bay Community Power (90MW).

Viento Loco, also 200MW, will supply electricity for the City of Santa Clara in California under long-term agreement.

In Spring 2018, Pattern Development acquired the 1GW Mesa Canyons wind project and the associated Western Spirit transmission project in New Mexico from Clean Line Energy Partners.

It also is providing technical and other assistance to the backers of the up-to-4.5GW SunZia Southwest Transmission project which is again trying to win approval for construction from state utility regulators.

Pattern Development wants to use SunZia to transport power from its proposed multi-stage 2.2GW Corona wind complex that would deploy 950 turbines. It is the anchor tenant for the initial transmission line phase.

Pattern, the leading project developer in the state, announcing Wednesday that it has begun commercial operations at its 220MW Grady wind farm there. Sacramento Municipal Utility District is buying the power over 25 years.

Pattern Development’s affiliate Pattern Energy, a yieldco, is operating Grady along with the neighbouring 324MW Broadview wind farm. Pattern Energy has added Grady to its list of right of first offer (ROFO) projects.

The University of Wyoming in a study earlier this year found New Mexico was the lowest cost western US state in which to build a wind farm using present technology led by construction and labor costs, tax policies and wind resource quality.

In March, the state passed a law mandating investor-owned utilities and rural electric cooperatives derive 50% of their retail sales from renewables by 2030. An 80% goal by 2040 was also set, and 100% carbon-free power mandated for investor-owned utilities in 2045 and rural electric cooperatives by 2050.

Separately, Xcel Energy is scheduled to break ground on its 522MW Sagamore wind farm in late 2020 in eastern New Mexico.

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