From left, Fernando Martinez, Executive Director Renewable Energy Transmission Authority (RETA) ; U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbury; Pattern Energy CEO Mike Garland; U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich; DOE Secretary Jennifer Granholm; RETA Chair Bob Busch; IBEW Local 611 Business Manager Brian Condit; EMNRD Cabinet Secretary Sarah Cottrell Propst and Pattern Energy Vice President Sarah Webster. Courtesy/EMNRD
EMNRD Cabinet Secretary Sarah Cottrell Propst, second from right, addresses DOE Secretary Jennifer Granholm, left, at roundtable Wednesday in Albuquerque on New Mexico’s renewable energy progress and opportunities. Courtesy/EMNRD
ALBUQUERQUE — Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) Cabinet Secretary Sarah Cottrell Propst joined a roundtable Wednesday hosted by U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich with U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbury, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Jennifer Granholm and business and union leaders.
The discussion focused on New Mexico’s success in expanding the state’s renewable energy and transmission infrastructure and the associated economic benefits to rural areas.
The event highlighted New Mexico’s rapid progress expanding renewable energy generation and transmission, and explored how federal programs, regulations, and support can promote additional transmission line construction, further growing the wind and solar industry across the state.
By investing in transmission, New Mexico can create local jobs, reduce emissions, and meet the ambitious milestones laid out in the Energy Transition Act.
“New Mexico is a leader in renewable energy and transmission business and policy,” Secretary Cottrell Propst said. “Between passage of the Energy Transition Act, work to modernize our electric grid, and our cross-government collaboration to attract renewable energy companies to New Mexico, we’ve made great progress. With strong federal, business, and non-governmental partners we can expand dramatically on those successes in the future.”
Held at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 611 offices in Albuquerque, representatives from the Renewable Energy Transmission Authority, Pattern Energy, and IBEW were also in attendance. Attendees discussed the Western Spirit Transmission Project which will connect more than 800 megawatts of wind power to the New Mexico grid and create hundreds of jobs in rural communities. The project is an example of the importance of expanding transmission lines across the state to facilitate renewable energy in New Mexico.