An Ameren Transmission Co. subsidiary on Friday asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to approve rates for two planned transmission lines in New Mexico that would deliver electricity from Clearway Energy Group’s proposed 680-MW Gallegos wind farm, the projects’ anchor customer.
Lucky Corridor, the Ameren subsidiary, aims to bring the 180-MW Mora line into service by 2025 and the 850-MW Vista Trail line, formerly called the Lucky Corridor line, into operation by 2027, according to the filing. The transmission lines are designed to deliver power to the Four Corners trading hub, which connects to major transmission lines across the Southwest.
Lucky Corridor asked FERC to approve the proposed open access transmission tariff by Nov. 3 so the company can finalize its arrangements with Gallegos Wind Farm and with any other customers that may be selected through a solicitation process for the remaining 350 MW on the Vista Trail line.
Action on Lucky Corridor’s project, which has been under development for more than a decade, is part of a wave of transmission development across the West. Proposed power lines, such as SunZia, TransWest Express and Southline, aim to deliver renewable energy from interior states to West Coast utilities.
The 345-kV Vista Trail line is set to run about 65 miles between Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association’s Springer and Taos substations, with potential delivery to Public Service Co. of New Mexico’s Ojo substation via existing transmission, according to Ameren Transmission Co., an Ameren Corp. subsidiary that bought Lucky Corridor in August 2020.
The 345-kV/115-kV Mora line would run 115 miles, connecting the Springer substation with PNM's Arriba substation. The line would serve Clearway Energy’s 180-MW Don Carlos wind project, the first phase of the Gallegos wind farm, according to Ameren Transmission.
Lucky Corridor and the New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority have a joint development and lease arrangement under which RETA will own the $83 million Mora line and Lucky Corridor will operate it.
San Francisco-based Clearway Energy owns 7.7 GW of wind and solar farms and has a 25 GW renewable energy and storage development pipeline, according to TotalEnergies. In May, TotalEnergies, based in Paris, agreed to buy half of Global Infrastructure Partners’ Clearway Energy for $1.6 billion, plus nearly 50% of TotalEnergies’ stake in SunPower Corp.