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WAPA and Southline Transmission to develop 1GW transmission line in Southwest US

CTBR Staff Writer Published 06 February 2018

Western Area Power Administration's (WAPA) Desert Southwest Region and Southline Transmission have signed a participation agreement for the development of the 1GW Southline Transmission Project in Southwest US.

The transmission line will integrate upgrades to WAPA’s existing electrical infrastructure and the construction of new transmission lines that can provide up to 1GW of transmission capacity along 360 miles between Southern New Mexico and Arizona.

The Southline Transmission Project will involve two segments. The first segment will include construction of about 240 miles of new double-circuit, 345-kilovolt line south of Las Cruces, New Mexico to south of Willcox, Arizona.

The second segment will involve upgrading 120 miles of existing WAPA transmission line from single-circuit 115 kV to double-circuit, 230 kV between Willcox, Arizona and a substation northwest of Tucson.

Construction of the project is expected to begin in later this year and transmission operations could begin in 2020.

WAPA administrator and CEO Mark A. Gabriel said: "Public and private organizations each bring unique strengths toward infrastructure development and modernization. Our successful partnership with Southline Transmission allows us to use these strengths to develop new critical energy infrastructure that will support affordable and reliable electricity for our customers for decades to come.”

Under the participation agreement, WAPA and Southline Transmission have agreed to a commercial framework that allocates transmission rights on each segment of the project. Upon energizing the line, WAPA's share of transmission capacity will be incorporated under WAPA's Parker-Davis Project.

Image: the 1GW transmission project will connect 360 miles between New Mexico and Arizona. Photo: Courtesy of Gyulavári Csaba/FreeImages.com.