News Release

Dec. 26, 2018
PNM becomes first in the world to deploy protection technology

Albuquerque: PNM became the first utility in the world to place a new protective relay device into service on a high-voltage 345kV transmission line that connects from the northwest part of the state, near Farmington, into the Albuquerque metro area. Deploying this advanced transmission line relay protection technology is an essential part of a five-year plan for our grid modernization efforts and investment in smart grid technology.

The relay device, known as the SEL-T400L, was developed by Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL), and the installation was a collaborative effort between SEL and PNM that provides increased operational speed and coordination. The relay utilizes advanced measuring techniques to detect system disturbances, helping to identify the location of an issue on the line quickly and more accurately. This can translate to improved grid operations, reduced power interruptions to customers, and faster restore times when an outage does occur.

“We are thrilled to be able to deploy this state-of-the-art grid protection.” said Todd Fridley, vice president of New Mexico Operations. “In today’s environment, the electric power system is more critical than ever, and this latest advancement in system protection is a huge leap forward in providing grid security, increased reliability and improved service to our customers. These system improvements fit very nicely within PNM’s grid modernization investments for building a solid platform for the future needs of our electric grid and customers.”

PNM and SEL conducted extensive testing and simulations to gain confidence in the relay’s performance before the device was officially brought online in the spring of 2018. More information on the project can also be found in this interactive article on SEL’s website.

“We are excited to have PNM be the first utility to apply time-dome technology for transmission protection. Their power system is now the leading example of what the future of transmission protection looks like,” said Dave Whitehead, SEL chief operating officer.



With headquarters in Albuquerque, PNM is the largest electricity provider in New Mexico, serving more than 500,000 customers in dozens of communities across the state. PNM is a subsidiary of PNM Resources, an energy holding company also headquartered in Albuquerque. For more information, visit