New Mexico State Land Office Triples Renewable Energy

Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard announcing today’s largest renewable lease sale in New Mexico history. Courtesy/SLO

From the New Mexico State Land Office:

  • Largest renewable lease sale in state history; lifetime project revenue to bring in millions for public education

SANTA FE – Following a public auction to lease state trust lands for wind energy production, Commissioner of Public Lands Stephanie Garcia Richard announced today that the State Land Office has tripled renewable energy leased on state trust land in New Mexico since 2019, bringing renewable energy production to approximately 1,200 total megawatts on state trust lands, up from approximately 400 megawatts when she took office.

The State Land Office awarded 11 wind leases today totaling 147,684 acres of state trust land to Pattern SC Holdings LLC, which placed the highest and best bid on each lease. Today’s auction is the largest renewable lease sale in New Mexico history.

Altogether this project is expected to be three times larger than the largest wind farm in New Mexico, and will be the largest wind energy project in the Western hemisphere.

In total, the winning bids for these eleven wind energy leases was $9,295,000. The lifetime revenue for the beneficiaries of the state land trust from these 11 leases is expected to be at least $196 million. Currently, state trust land in New Mexico has a renewable operational capacity of 438 megawatts with an additional 366 megawatts under development.

The Office of Renewable Energy projects at least 500 additional megawatts of wind power production on these eleven tracts of state trust land. This output is enough to power 196,211 homes’ electricity use for one year and is the equivalent of removing 321,035 gas-powered cars from the road. The output also is enough green power to power approximately 6,076,300,578 miles driven by electric car.

The revenue generated from these projects will benefit New Mexico’s schools, universities and hospitals for the next several decades. Eight distinct public institutions will benefit from the leases awarded today including New Mexico public schools, Eastern New Mexico University, Colfax Miners Hospital and New Mexico Tech.

“I made a promise when I took office to triple renewables on state trust lands, and today we met that goal,” Commissioner Garcia Richard said. “By tripling renewable energy production, we are guaranteeing a new and steady stream of revenue for New Mexico’s school kids and other beneficiaries of state trust lands for the next several decades. We are blessed with incredible wind and sunshine here in New Mexico, and we must capitalize on those renewable resources to help mitigate the impacts of climate change while diversifying economic opportunities.”

The tripling of renewable energy in the state is a result of Commissioner Garcia Richard’s efforts to create new revenue streams for New Mexico’s beneficiaries and help battle climate change.

Commissioner Garcia Richard created the first-ever Office of Renewable Energy within the State Land Office to help grow the New Mexico’s renewable energy portfolio. The creation of this new office has led to the construction of La Joya Wind Farm’s 207 megawatts on 35,000 acres of state trust land in Torrance County, the Western Spirit Wind Farm, Borderlands Wind Farm, the approval of four leases for the City of Las Cruces to power its water wells with solar energy, and much more.

The addition of these 11 new wind leases brings the total number of wind energy leases on state trust land to 26. In addition, the Office of Renewable Energy stewards 12 executed solar energy leases and manages a pipeline of 56 applications for new renewable energy leases on state trust land.

A map of the eleven leases is available here.

The 11 leases and locations:

The State Land Office advertised the 11 leases for 10 weeks in two newspapers of common circulation, in accordance with state law. The leases will expire in 2077. Courtesy/SLO

Commissioner Garcia Richard, center, with Office of Renewable Energy staff and representatives of Pattern SC Holdings LLC celebrating today’s announcement of the winning bids. Courtesy/SLO

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