Large Wind, Solar Projects Planned in New Mexico
July 25, 2013
Iberdrola Renewables recently announced plans to build the 1,000 megawatt (MW) wind project in central New Mexico, while First Solar, Inc. announced an agreement with Public Service Company of New Mexico to construct three solar power plants totaling 23 MW.
The New Mexico State Land Office will conduct an auction on September 19 for a 45-year lease of 39,000 acres in Torrance, San Miguel, and Santa Fe counties at the request of Iberdrola Renewables. Competitors may bid for the state's land, but the State Land Office will only accept bids for all 39,000 acres and will reject any offers for portions of the lease package. The leased land could be used for wind-power projects and transmission lines. Iberdrola intends to use the state-land lease to complement 87,000 acres of privately owned ranch land the company already has leased in New Mexico. See the Energy Prospects West story.
Also, First Solar announced that it plans to build its project using its advanced thin-film photovoltaic modules. The plan is contingent on approval from the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission. Once approved, construction is expected to be completed in 2014. The solar plants will generate enough energy for 8,960 average New Mexico homes, displacing about 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, the equivalent of taking some 5,300 cars off the road, and displacing up to 14.5 million gallons of water consumption annually. See the First Solar press release.