Santa Fe Loop Case Study

New Transmission in the Heart of Historic Santa Fe, New Mexico

Having been successful in bringing a badly needed new source of power to the Santa Fe area (“Project Power”), PNM had also identified a significant reliability risk with the historic city of Santa Fe. The company needed to connect three existing substations via two new 115kV transmission lines. STAR Group was asked to help coordinate public involvement to identify acceptable route alternatives for these new lines.

STAR Group used a modified version of its STAR Group Utility Search Conference® process to help the community members work collaboratively to identify and address critical issues, including aesthetics and health concerns. The group participated in bus tours of suggested route alternatives and met with two independent experts on EMF. In the end, the group identified two routes that were acceptable to all, including a route that PNM had never considered that provided PNM with the opportunity to upgrade a substation and to remove over 15 miles of existing 46kV transmission line. PNM is in the process of permitting these two new lines.