Defense Dept. offers compromise on SunZia project

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The U.S. Department of Defense has announced that security concerns about a proposed transmission line between Arizona and New Mexico can be resolved.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in a letter Tuesday to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell that concerns about the SunZia transmission project at White Sands Missile Range could be addressed by burying five miles of the line.

Previously, White Sands officials have said the project could reduce testing operations at the range by up to 30 percent, potentially threatening national security.

The SunZia project would carry renewable energy from solar and wind projects in eastern and central New Mexico to Western markets. It's expected to generate $1.2 billion in private investment, but had faced opposition from the Defense Department.

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