Regulators: $2B southwestern power line project lacks location details

Source: By Associated Press • Posted: Thursday, September 13, 2018

Developers behind a proposed $2 billion high-voltage power line that would funnel wind and solar energy from rural spots in New Mexico and Arizona to larger markets will have to make another run at getting needed approvals from regulators in New Mexico.

The Public Regulation Commission voted unanimously to reject the proposed location of the lines, finding that the application by SunZia lacked information needed to determine the project’s environmental impact on communities it would span.

A hearing examiner had determined earlier that developers didn’t adequately research the zoning and land-use requirements of the property surrounding the proposed route.

The SunZia transmission project has been years in the making and not without controversy. Disputes initially rose over its proximity to a U.S. military installation, and environmentalists and ranchers have raised concerns about wildlife and rangeland.