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Proposed electric line wins NM right of way

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Southline Transmission Project, a proposed line across southern New Mexico and Arizona, has won right-of-way approval by New Mexico Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn.

The 345-kilovolt double-circuit electric transmission line is designed to collect and transmit electricity across the southern part of both states. The project is sponsored by Southline Transmission, L.L.C., a subsidiary of Hunt Power, L.P.

Dunn said he appreciated Southline’s efforts to rely on existing corridors and to “minimize the overall footprint” of the project on state trust lands.

“The Southline Transmission Project will improve New Mexico’s electric grid and support the transmission of electricity to key western markets while also generating over $10 million in revenue to our State Land Trust over the next 35 years,” Dunn said.

The project is planned to provide up to 1,000 megawatts of transmission capacity in both directions and connect with up to 14 existing substation locations, according to a project website.

The line would relieve congestion, strengthen the existing electrical system and improve transmission access for local renewable and other energy sources, the according to a news release from Dunn’s office.

Still, the project is far from approval. Developers must still submit detailed plans about the exact location of structures and roads associated with the line and cultural and biological surveys, said Mark Mackiewicz, BLM national project manager.


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