Hearing officer balks at proposed route for power lines
ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) — Backers of a $2 billion high-voltage power line project say they’ll continue to try to win regulatory approval of a proposed route through seven New Mexico counties despite a hearing officer’s adverse recommendation.
The Alamogordo Daily News reports that Hearing Examiner Ashley C. Schannauer endorsed a right of way proposal for the SunZia Southwest Transmission Project but recommended that the Public Regulation Commission deny the proposed route through Lincoln, Torrance, Soccoro, Sierra, Luna, Grant and Hidalgo counties.
Schannauer concluded that the project’s filing didn’t adequately consider zoning and land-use requirements.
The 520-mile (837-kilometer) SunZia project is intended to funnel wind and solar energy from rural spots in New Mexico and Arizona to larger markets.
Project spokesman Ian Calkins said SunZia backers are confident they’ll win PRC approval of the route.