New Mexico State Land Office Breaks All-Time Revenue Record, Raises About $1.25 Billion in FY21

Commissioner of Public Lands Stéphanie Garcia Richard

News from the State Land Office:

… Revenue supports public schools, hospitals and universities

SANTA FE — The New Mexico State Land Office (SLO) today released the first revenue estimates for fiscal year 2021, which put the agency at an all-time high of $1.25 billion.

Since taking office in January 2019, Public Lands Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard has overseen the agency for three consecutive years with revenues exceeding $1 billion.

Revenue for fiscal 2019 and 2020 totaled $1.11 billion and $1.05 billion, respectively. Total revenue over three years is about $3.4 billion for New Mexico’s public schools, hospitals and universities, saving taxpayers from footing the bill for these services.

“The Land Office has a very unique purpose: to manage your state’s lands to financially support some of New Mexico’s most vital institutions, while simultaneously working to protect those lands for future generations,” the commissioner said. García Richard. “Raising over $1 billion each year for three consecutive years, including during a global pandemic, was an enormous undertaking that would not have been possible without the dedicated and talented team with whom I have the privilege of working daily. ”

Commissioner Garcia Richard is focusing on diversifying the revenue streams going into the SLO. In 2019, she established the first-ever Office of Renewable Energy (ORE), targeting staff and resources to bring solar and wind project applications past the finish line. In FY21, ORE signed four major wind farm leases and the first battery storage facility and municipal solar projects to be located on state trust land. Since taking office, the commissioner has signed 15 new renewable energy leases with projected lifetime revenues of more than $87 million.

“In FY21, clean energy revenue grew nearly 40%. The dollar amounts are growing every year, and as we see more success, the industry is taking notice. We We’re moving forward with strength, working with companies on projects large and small. With the Community Solar Act coming into effect, we envision state trust lands playing a huge role in providing affordable renewable energy to New Mexico communities,” said Commissioner Garcia Richard.

In addition to advancements in renewable energy, SLO recently spearheaded a deal with Netflix to expand onto 130 acres of state-owned land in Mesa del Sol. Commissioner Garcia Richard’s diversification priorities include increased recruitment of film, space and technology companies on state trust lands, increased outdoor recreation opportunities, municipal leasing and innovations in the regenerative agriculture.

The rebound in the oil and gas industry set the tone for revenue records, with royalties paid on oil and gas production accounting for $1.2 billion of total revenue estimates for FY21. As of January 2021 , monthly royalty totals topped $100 million, with early numbers for June 2021 hitting a record high of $135 million.

“At the start of the pandemic, we worked hard to put safeguards in place to ensure that active oil and gas leases would be as efficient as possible for the institutions we support. These efforts have paid off in the long term,” added Commissioner Garcia Richard.

Other highlights from the fiscal 2021 revenue books include:

  • $8 million in commercial rent payments;
  • $9 million in rent for agricultural grazing leases; and
  • $12.7 million in right-of-way easement payments.

Gregory M. Roy