About Access

Learn how the Southline Transmission Project can facilitate increased access for renewable energy development.


The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Western Governors’ Association Western Renewable Energy Zones process have identified significant potential for solar and other renewable energy development in the Southwest. The proposed Southline Transmission Project lies within some of the region’s most promising renewable resource areas.

Renewable energy development has been hindered in the area largely because of a lack of transmission capacity. The Southline Transmission Project will facilitate the connection of renewable energy projects to the electric system, helping states in the Desert Southwest meet renewable energy requirements.



The project study area includes multiple high-quality renewable resource areas where generation project development is likely. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has compiled information about renewable resource potential in the Southwest. Click to find information about New Mexico wind resource potential, Arizona wind resource potential, and Desert Southwest solar energy potential.

The Western Governors’ Association and US Department of Energy’s June 2009 Western Renewable Energy Zones—Phase 1 Report identified the potential for two major solar energy hubs near the Southline Transmission Project. Additionally, the Bureau of Land Management issued a Record of Decision for its Restoration Design Energy Project, an effort to identify and evaluate lands across Arizona that may be suitable for the development of renewable energy; several of the identified Renewable Energy Development Areas are in the vicinity of the Southline Transmission Project.

Additionally, portions of the Southline Transmission Project route alternatives lie within West Wide Energy Corridors designated by DOE as appropriate land corridors for electricity transmission and other facilities by a multi-federal agency group.

The Southline Transmission Project is independent of any power generation projects in the region, renewable or otherwise.