The Lucky Corridor, approximately 93 miles of planned new electrical transmission, consisting of double-circuit 230-kilovolt (kV) line in New Mexico, cleared a hurdle with a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Western Area Power Administration, a power marketing administration in the U.S. Department of Energy, to explore the potential joint development of the project.
The proposed project and associated upgraded facilities would make it possible to transport New Mexico’s abundant renewable energy to electricity users across the Western states, a long-standing barrier to renewable energies deployment. The transmission line proposes to use existing pathways through private, state and federal lands in New Mexico to feed energy to Four Corners, a NYMEX hub, where it can be sold.
Lucky Corridor has also entered into an MOU with New Mexico’s Renewable Energy Transmission Authority to help develop and fund the transmission project.
“Once complete, the corridor will give ranchers and property owners in northern New Mexico the ability to ship electricity made from their renewable energy to Western states. It means more jobs, growth and opportunity for New Mexico and a cleaner energy future for our country,” said Lynn Chapman Greene, founder and president/CEO of Lucky Corridor LLC, the governing body of the transmission line.
The New Mexico-Colorado border area enjoys first-rate average daily solar radiation and has some of the strongest, most reliable wind energy in the country.
Lucky Corridor was initiated by ranchers in Union County, N.M., and Trinchera, Colo., working along with Greene.
“Because of local ranchers’ appreciation of their plentiful wind resource, they invested the bulk of the money necessary to meet all the development milestones we had to reach to enter into this agreement with Western,” Greene said.
Lucky Corridor has designed an infrastructure loop that upgrades an existing corridor. The upgrade proposes to move more than 1,000 megawatts (MW) of clean energy through Lucky’s upgrade area into existing lines, including a proposed 850-MW line that will move toward the Four Corners hub.
“Compared to other proposed transmission upgrades nationwide, which will bring new sources of abundant clean energy to consumers, ours is a small project at only 93 miles. Yet it accomplishes the same increased reliability and capacity goals as longer projects,” Greene said.