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University of California system agrees to acquire wind energy from New Mexico

June 7, 2023
The university system will receive electricity via a 550-mile transmission line from the SunZia Wind project in New Mexico.

In a move to step up its clean energy goals, the University of California system has signed its first-ever wind energy contract.

The contract with SunZia Wind, a 3,500-megawatt (MW) wind project in New Mexico, will enable the university system to receive electricity via a 550-mile transmission line.

The expected electricity generation from the university system's 85 MW portion of SunZia is equivalent to the total annual electricity consumption of UC Santa Cruz, UC Santa Barbara, UC Riverside and UC Merced combined.

“This wind contract represents another milestone achievement for the University of California," said David Phillips, associate vice president of capital programs, energy and sustainability. "The SunZia project expands the systemwide collaboration needed to support each of our campuses as they complete their plans to transition away from fossil fuels,” 

Pattern Energy, the company that is developing SunZia Wind, says that SunZia Wind and Transmission will combine to create the largest clean energy infrastructure project in United States history.

Renewable energy from the project will be used by every campus and medical center in the University of California system, the university says.

Construction is expected to start this year and commercial operation is anticipated in 2026.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy has been writing about education for American School & University since 1999. He also has reported on schools and other topics for The Chicago Tribune, The Kansas City Star, The Kansas City Times and City News Bureau of Chicago. He is a graduate of Michigan State University.

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