SunZia Transmission Line: A Bright Future for New Mexico’s Clean Energy under Biden-Harris Leadership

Representational image. Credit: Canva

On a momentous occasion, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and Senior Advisor to the President John Podesta, together with federal, state, and community leaders, came together today to celebrate the groundbreaking of the SunZia Transmission Project. The SunZia Transmission Project, once completed, will serve as a vital conduit for transporting up to 4,500 megawatts of primarily renewable energy from New Mexico to markets in Arizona and California. This initiative aligns perfectly with the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to addressing climate change and promoting clean energy.


The Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management granted approval for the project in May 2023 and completed the review process, from the Notice of Intent to the Record of Decision, in less than two years. This achievement reflects the dedication of the Biden-Harris administration to expedite the expansion of transmission infrastructure, aimed at reducing energy costs for consumers, fortifying resilience against extreme weather, generating high-paying union jobs, combatting the climate crisis, and achieving the President’s objective of a 100% clean electricity grid by 2035.

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Secretary Deb Haaland emphasized the project’s significance stating, “The SunZia Transmission Project will accelerate our nation’s transition to a clean energy economy by unlocking renewable resources, creating jobs, lowering costs, and boosting local economies. Through historic investments from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, the Interior Department is helping build modern, resilient climate infrastructure that protects our communities from the worsening impacts of climate change.”


John Podesta, Senior Advisor to the President for Clean Energy Innovation and Implementation, applauded the SunZia Transmission Project, stating, “The SunZia Transmission Project is a game-changer for America’s clean energy economy and for our fight to save the planet. To tackle the climate crisis and bring clean, affordable, reliable power to American families, we need to build high-performance transmission projects like this one all across the country.”

Today’s groundbreaking represents the latest example of the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to expediting collaborative and efficient permitting processes for transmission lines and renewable energy projects on public lands. This permitting progress is integral to achieving a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035, as well as fulfilling Congress’ directive in the Energy Act of 2020 to permit 25 gigawatts of solar, wind, and geothermal production on public lands no later than 2025 – a target that the Biden-Harris administration is on track to surpass.

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The SunZia Transmission Project comprises two planned 500-kilovolt transmission lines spanning approximately 520 miles across federal, state, and private lands between central New Mexico and central Arizona. The permitted route starts at a planned substation in Torrance County, New Mexico, and terminates at the existing Pinal Central Substation in Pinal County, Arizona. The project traverses multiple counties in New Mexico and Arizona and is committed to upholding the highest workforce standards, utilizing union labor and trades.

Since 2021, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has greenlit 35 projects, including 10 solar, 8 geothermal, and 17 gen-ties, covering approximately 23,396 acres of BLM-managed lands. These projects are poised to generate 8,160 megawatts of electricity – enough to power more than 2.6 million homes.

The BLM is currently in the process of evaluating 68 utility-scale onshore clean energy projects proposed on public lands in the western United States, including solar, wind, and geothermal projects, as well as interconnected gen-tie lines essential for clean energy projects on non-federal land. These projects can add over 34,000 megawatts of renewable energy to the Western electric grid. Additionally, the BLM is conducting preliminary reviews of more than 171 applications for solar and wind development, along with 100 applications for wind and solar energy testing.

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