What You Need to Know about the SunZia Southwest Transmission Project
Do you own land in the project zone of the SunZia Southwest Transmission Project?
If so, you might be wondering what this project is and how it will affect your property rights. Continue reading to learn more about the SunZia project, why it is important, and how an eminent domain attorney can help you if the project needs to take your land through eminent domain.
What is the SunZia Southwest Transmission Project?
The SunZia Southwest Transmission Project will build two 500-kilovolt (kV) transmission lines across approximately 520 miles of land in New Mexico and Arizona. The goal is to transport up to 4,500 megawatts of primarily renewable energy from New Mexico to Arizona and California. The project is expected to create jobs, increase tax revenues, and support the development of clean energy in the southwest.
The project is being developed by SunZia Transmission LLC, a private company, in partnership with several federal, state, and local government agencies. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is the lead federal agency for the project and has issued a Record of Decision (ROD) in May 2023, authorizing a right-of-way (ROW) grant for the project on federal lands. The project may require additional permits and approvals as it will cross state and private lands as well.
The project will potentially affect Arizona land owners in Pinal, Pima, Conchise, Graham, and Greenlee counties. If you think your land may be affected, contact the JacksonWhite eminent domain law team today at (480)467-4334.
Why is the SunZia project important?
The SunZia project is important for several reasons. First, it will help meet the growing demand for electricity in the Southwest, especially from renewable sources. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, electricity demand in the region is expected to increase by 50% by 2030, while renewable energy is expected to grow by 300%. The SunZia project will provide a reliable and efficient way to deliver renewable energy to consumers while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Second, the SunZia project will support economic development and job creation in New Mexico and Arizona. The project will create an estimated 6,200 direct and indirect jobs during construction and 650 jobs during operation. The project will also generate about $400 million in tax revenues over 50 years for both local governments and schools. The project will also stimulate investment in renewable energy, such as wind farms and solar plants, that will benefit from the increased transmission capacity.
How can an eminent domain attorney help you?
Eminent domain is the power of the government or its authorized agents to take private property for public use, with fair compensation for the property owner. The SunZia project will require the acquisition of some private lands along the proposed route, either through voluntary agreements or through eminent domain proceedings. If your land is affected by the SunZia project, you have certain rights and options as a property owner.
An eminent domain attorney can help you protect your rights and interests in several ways. For example, an eminent domain attorney can:
- Review the offer and documents from the project developer or agency and advise you on whether they are fair and reasonable.
- Negotiate with the project developer or agency on your behalf to obtain a better offer or terms for your property.
- Represent you in court if you decide to challenge the taking or dispute the amount of compensation.
- Help you find alternative properties or relocation assistance if you have to move.
An eminent domain attorney can also help you understand the impacts of the SunZia project on your property value, use, access, and enjoyment. For instance, an eminent domain attorney can:
- Assess how the transmission lines will affect your property’s aesthetics, noise, safety, health, and environmental quality.
- Evaluate how the transmission lines will affect your property’s current or future development potential or zoning status.
- Advise you on how to minimize or mitigate any negative impacts of the transmission lines on your property.
If you own land in the project zone of the SunZia Southwest Transmission Project and want to learn more about your rights and options as a property owner, contact JacksonWhite Law at (480)467-4334 to schedule a consultation with our eminent domain law team.