New Mexico State Land Office Triples Renewable Energy

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

From the New Mexico State Land Office:

  • Largest Revolving Lease Sale in State History; lifetime project revenue will bring millions to public education

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

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

In total, 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 amounted to $9,295,000. The lifetime income for the state land trust beneficiaries from these 11 leases is expected to be at least $196 million. Currently, state trust lands in New Mexico have a renewable operating capacity of 438 megawatts with an additional 366 megawatts under development.

The Office of Renewable Energy is planning at least 500 megawatts of additional wind power generation on these eleven parcels of state trust land. This production is enough to power the electricity consumption of 196,211 homes for a year and is equivalent to taking 321,035 gasoline-powered cars off the road. The output is also enough to power around 6,076,300,578 miles of electric car travel.

The revenue generated from these projects will benefit schools, universities and hospitals in New Mexico for decades to come. Eight separate 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 renewable energy on state trust lands, and today we achieved that goal,” Commissioner Garcia Richard said. “By tripling renewable energy generation, we are ensuring a new and steady stream of income for New Mexico schoolchildren and other beneficiaries of state trust lands for decades to come. We are blessed with incredible wind and sunshine here in New Mexico, and we must capitalize on these renewable resources to help mitigate the impacts of climate change while diversifying economic opportunities.

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

Commissioner Garcia Richard established the first-ever Office of Renewable Energy within the State Land Office to help develop New Mexico’s renewable energy portfolio. The creation of this new office led to the construction of the 207 megawatt La Joya Wind Farm on 35,000 acres of trust land in Torrance County, the Western Spirit Wind Farm, the Borderlands Wind Farm, the approval of four leases for the town 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 lands to 26. 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 jointly circulated newspapers, 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 from Pattern SC Holdings LLC celebrating today’s announcement of the winning bids. Courtesy/SLO

Gregory M. Roy