NEW MEXICO ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT

Sustainable & Green Energy

New Mexico has plentiful natural resources and is the ninth-largest energy producer in the nation.  About 50 percent of the electricity generated here is exported.  All of the state’s new and planned electricity generating capacity will use renewable energy or natural gas.

With two U. S. Department of Energy national laboratories, the state also has tremendous energy and energy storage research capacity.  

New Mexico has substantial renewable resources from solar, wind, hydroelectric, biomass and geothermal energy.

Solar Energy

New Mexico is second only to Arizona in days of sunshine and has tremendous solar energy potential.

PNM owns 16 solar energy centers, including two that came online in 2018 specifically to serve the Facebook data center campus in Valencia County.  El Paso Electric has power purchase agreements with five solar energy centers in the state.  Xcel Energy purchases power from two solar farms in Chaves and Lea counties.  Tri-State Generation & Transmission purchases power from the Cimarron Solar Facility in Colfax County.

Wind Energy

There is significant wind energy potential on the high plains in eastern New Mexico.  In 2018, wind energy contributed almost 19% of the state’s electricity generation with almost 1,800 megawatts of installed electricity generating capacity from more than 1,100 wind turbines. 

In October 2018, the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission approved an application from Pattern Energy to build an estimated 950 wind turbines as part of its Corona Wind Projects, which will have 2,250 MW (megawatts) of capacity. Other New Mexico Wind Projects are shown in the table below.

Electric Utility or Coop New Mexico Wind Project Location (County) Date Online MW*
PNM
NM Wind Energy Center
DeBaca & Quay
2003
204
SPS
Llano Estacado
Curry
2003
2
SPS
Caprock Phase I & II
Quay
2004 & 2005
80
SPS
San Juan Mesa
Roosevelt
2005
120
Arizona Public Service
Aragonne Mesa
Guadalupe
2007
90
SPS
High Lonesome Mesa
Torrance
2009
100
PNM
Red Mesa Wind Energy Center
Cibola
2010
102
Exelon
Wildcat Wind Ranch
Lea
2012
27
Tucson Electric Power
Macho Springs Power
Luna
2014
50
Grady Wind Energy Center
Curry
117
Anderson Wind Project
Chaves
Under construction
15
Guadalupe Mountains
Chaves
Under construction
134
Roosevelt Wind Farm
Roosevelt
Under construction
250
El Cabo Wind Farm
Torrance
Pending
278
La Joya Wind Project
250
Taiban Mesa Wind
50
Sources: New Mexico Public Regulation Commission & New Mexico Energy, Minerals & Natural Resources Dept.
*MW = Megawatts

Hydrogen

The growing hydrogen economy is necessary to meet New Mexico’s ambitious climate goals while creating clean energy jobs for New Mexicans.

Several key sectors of our economy cannot decarbonize without low-carbon hydrogen. Long haul trucks, for example, cannot electrify without dedicating an enormous percentage of space and weight to batteries. Low-carbon hydrogen provides the trucking, manufacturing, mining, construction, electric generation and other industries the means to decarbonize their operations.

In February 2022, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham joined the governors of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming in signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to jointly compete for a portion of the $8 billion allocated in the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act for the development of regional clean hydrogen hubs. These states are uniquely situated to become a clean hydrogen hub given the presence of high-quality wind, solar, biomass, natural gas, and other energy resources.

Uranium Mine Cleanup and Mill Reclamation

Governor Lujan Grisham signed a bill during the 2022 Legislative Session, stating that the Department of Environment shall work with the Economic Development Department, Department of Workforce Solutions, and industry to establish uranium mine and mill reclamation as a target economic development industry in New Mexico, including the creation, coordination and promotion of worker training and business development programs for reclamation activities.

Abandoned uranium mines are found in all corners of the Southwest. This environmental hazard will require large amounts of mitigation and also offer new job opportunities in rural areas of New Mexico.

Geothermal

In January 2014, Cyrq Energy opened New Mexico’s first utility-scale geothermal plant in Hidalgo County.  The facility represents an investment of more than $100 million.  PNM has signed an agreement to purchase the power for the next 20 years.

CO₂

The Bravo Dome carbon dioxide gas field, located in Harding and Union Counties in northeast New Mexico, covers about 800,000 acres.  It is estimated to contain more than 16 trillion cubic feet of carbon dioxide.  The CO₂ is used primarily for enhanced oil recovery.

Hydro Power

New Mexico has four sites that generate hydro power:

Source: New Mexico Energy, Minerals & Natural Resources Department