Pattern Energy completed construction of four separate wind farms collectively known as the Western Spirit Wind Project. The 1,050 MW project was built in three Central New Mexico counties and combined becomes the largest in the state.
The four facilities include 377 GE wind turbines, each ranging in capacity from 2.3 to 2.8 MW. The turbines are at various heights to optimize the wind capture, Pattern officials said. Blattner Energy served as construction contractor for the project.
Western Spirit wind will provide energy to both California and New Mexico through power purchase agreements with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, San José Clean Energy, East Bay Community Energy, California Choice Energy Authority and member cities, and international energy company Uniper Global Commodities. Western Spirit Wind will also provide power to New Mexico municipalities, including Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities, through the Uniper Global Commodities power purchase agreement.
“Western Spirit encompasses four new utility-scale wind sites that connect rural communities in central New Mexico to local customers and other major energy markets beyond our state’s borders,” said U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) “This project literally changed the map of our state’s energy landscape, allowing New Mexico to help power our nation with clean electrons.”
The Western Spirit turbines are expected to generate energy between 80-90% of the time in any average year, with most production happening during evenings, mornings and during winter months, the company said.
The turbines were connected to the grid in December using a 155-mile 345 kV transmission line, developed by Pattern Energy and the New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority.