New Mexico wind power project picks up steam

Pattern Development’s Grady Wind facility went into service Aug. 7 north of Clovis in Eastern New Mexico, completing the three-facility Broadview complex, which is able to produce enough wind power electricity for 225,000 homes — or all the households in Albuquerque. Courtesy photo

Full wind power production has been in place since Aug. 7 at New Mexico’s largest wind power center north of Clovis, along the Texas state line, after a third turbine tower facility became operational.

San Francisco- and Houston-based Pattern Development’s three adjacent wind power facilities produce 544 megawatts, enough to power 225,000 homes — or all the households in Albuquerque.

The recently completed facility near Grady added 84 Siemens Gamesa 2.625 MW wind turbines with 120-meter rotors to the 141 wind turbines in place since 2017 at Pattern’s pair of Broadview wind facilities.

Pattern’s three wind power facilities add up to a little more than one-fourth of the roughly 2,000 MW of commercial wind power produced in New Mexico at 31 wind projects, according to the state Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department.

The three facilities are collectively known as Broadview, but the Grady facility is a separate business entity with a different customer. The 220 megawatts produced at Grady were sold to the Sacramento Municipal Utility District in California, while Southern California Edison in Los Angeles is buying the Broadview power.

Grady and Broadview are named for two small towns near the 225 wind turbine towers in Curry County, about 20 miles north of Clovis. A few towers to spill over into Texas, Pattern Development spokesman Matt Dallas said.

Pattern Development also built the 35-mile Western Interconnect transmission line to bring the Broadview power to Public Service Company of New Mexico’s Blackwater substation south of Clovis.

Broadview’s wind power production is one of the alternative energy anchors to meet the goals of the New Mexico Energy Transition Act. The 2019 legislation calls for New Mexico’s electricity to be 50 percent renewable by 2030 with a goal of 100 percent by 2045.

“The Energy Transition Act has ambitious goals to source more of New Mexico’s electricity from renewable energy sources, and we also want to expand our renewable energy exports to western markets,” said Louise Martinez, director of the Energy Conservation and Management Division within the state Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department. “We hope this new facility encourages more wind companies to consider New Mexico when identifying new wind farm locations.”

Pattern Development is just getting started in New Mexico with the estimated $760 million Broadview Project. Pattern also has eyes on Central New Mexico for a 2,200 MW collection of wind power facilities with 950 wind turbines near Corona. This would match all the commercial wind power now produced in New Mexico.

“New Mexico is home to one of the strongest wind resources in the country and we are committed to developing and constructing these new projects and expanding our investment in this enchanting state,” Pattern Development CEO Mike Garland said.

The first Corona Wind Project facility has Silicon Valley Clean Energy and Monterey Bay Community Power signed on as customers for the 200 MW Duran Mesa Wind Project expected to start construction in early 2020 and be operational in 2021, Dallas said.