Library from New Mexico
Wind-power entrepreneurs still don't know if they have enough consistent winds west of the Río Grande Gorge to be commercially profitable. However, the group headed by Taos attorney Eliu Romero is going ahead with plans to get a county permit to allow them to install some 65 wind turbines for the county's first wind farms. ...If initiated, "Taos Wind Farm" and "Wind Mountain Project" would have 40 and 15 turbines, respectively, on two separate private landholdings that would each generate 1.5 megawatts of power. Electricity would be sold to the Kit Carson power grid. Turbines cost $1.5 million each, Romero said, and rise 284 feet into sky.
Attorney Eliu Romero filed this variance application before the Taos County, New Mexico Planning Commission to erect sixty-five industrial turbines. The purpose of the variance application is to gain permission from the County to place structures in the county that exceed the height limits. Several of Mr. Romero's responses to the application questions suggest he has no knowledge as to the purpose and intent of a variance request or the conditions under which it can be approved. The application inaccurately cites the turbine height at 284-feet rather than 384-feet.
The Labs' Wind Energy Technology Department and the U.S. Department of Energy Wind and Hydropower Technologies Program have embarked on a project to determine if a roughly 30-megawatt plant is viable, the base and labs said in a news release. A private company would design, build, and operate the farm, and DOE/National Nuclear Security Administration, Sandia and Kirtland would buy the electricity, Sandia said.
New Mexico's electric transmission grid has a critical need for expansion, Lyons told attendees at the Renew Energy Conference in Tucumcari on Thursday. For example, there is a proposed route across the center of the state by U-P-C, a company planning a windfarm development on trust and private lands in Lincoln and Torrance counties. U-P-C is looking at this route through Torrance, Lincoln, Socorro and Catron counties. However, Lyons said, "We have received some opposition about this particular project. Nobody wants it in their backyard. But we have a number of applications for new wind energy development, but unless be can move the power these projects are futile." ...And Quay County ranks high within the state, Lyons said. "The largest contiguous area of good-to-excellent resources is located near Tucumcari, near the Guadalupe Mountains in southern New Mexico, and in the northeastern part of the state near the Colorado and Oklahoma borders," Lyons said. "Right now," Lyons said, "the Land Office is negotiating with seven companies that have expressed an interest in investing in the state's wind energy generation portfolio." These applications equal an additional 400,760 acres of trust lands for wind farm development.
A wind generating company says it will be ready to start construction on a wind farm south of Willard in the spring. But first, managers of the High Lonesome Wind Ranch LLC plan to submit today to the Torrance County Planning and Zoning Commission an application for a zoning ordinance for a special use district for the farm. "We're ready to put our application in. We had to pull together lots of pieces. These are complex projects," said Amy LeGere, Foresight Wind Energy regional development manager. The wind project is about nine miles south of Willard on private land on Mesa de los Jumanos and is being developed by High Lonesome Wind Ranch LLC, a partnership of Foresight Wind, Karbon Zero and Edison Mission Group.
Taiban Mesa, NM
Green power at no extra fee became official this week as the City Council approved renewable energy tariffs for the Farmington electric utility. The new structure reverses a consultant's recommendation that drew fierce protest from green-minded utility customers. The consultant recommended charging $40 of utility customers who wanted to either sell self-generated solar power back to the utility or choose to purchase renewable power from a third party in blocks. The tariff accepted this week not only ignores the recommended $40 fee, it proposes to purchase self-generated power at 8 cents per kilowatt hour, the same amount the utility charges residents.
It's round two for green power in Farmington today, with utility customers attending another City Council work session to protest a recommended $40 renewable energy fee. "A bunch of us are going to turn up again," said Mike Eisenfeld, New Mexico staff organizer for the San Juan Citizen's Alliance. "I think the city needs to do the right thing and shuck the recommended policy." ..."All I can do is present the information and they will make a decision." "Customers who choose to utilize renewable energy should do so because they believe it is the right' thing to do, but should also understand that these options are more expensive than traditional carbon-based resources," the report reads.
Gov. Bill Richardson approved all items in the capital outlay bill, including about $1.9 million to develop the site for and plan, design, construct, equip and furnish the North American Wind Research and Training Center at Mesalands Community College in Tucumcari. Going into the legislative session, Mesalands officials had expressed hope for a larger appropriation because costs of wind turbines escalate with the rising costs of fuel, metals and manufacturing. Mesalands has been on spring break for the past week and Phillip Barry, college president, could not be reached for comment. The college wants to install a single wind turbine that could be used for maintenace and operational training of technicians and research on wind energy.
Governor Richardson has signed into law two bills he says make New Mexico what he calls the “clean energy state.” One measure quadruples the use of clean electricity. It requires that by the year 2020, utilities must be getting 20 percent of their electricity from renewable sources. The other bill creates a transmission authority that will help the state export solar, wind and other renewable energy. The governor says the measures not only will help keep New Mexico’s air clean, but will create new high-tech jobs in the state.
New Mexico State University has launched a project to track wind speeds in Eastern New Mexico to determine potential locations for commercial wind turbines. NMSU's Agricultural Science center at Clovis erected a 50-meter meteorological tower in November at a site 13 miles north of Clovis to gather wind data. The science center will work with NMSU's Institute for Energy and the Environment and the College of Engineering to process the data, calculate potential to power wind turbines, and make the information available to the public.
Santa Fe city government wants to start buying its electricity from a new wind power company, but it may run into opposition from Public Service Co. of New Mexico, the state regulated power monopoly. Delaware-based Patriot Wind, in cooperation with Santa Fe-based Windforce Inc., has plans to build a 20-turbine wind ranch in eastern New Mexico. The ranch is to be built on 640 acres of state-owned land about 30 miles southeast of Springer. But before Patriot Wind can get financing for the project, according to a memo from Santa Fe City Attorney Frank Katz, it needs to get commitments from potential customers to buy the electricity -- a prospect that could prove daunting, considering PNM's monopoly..........PNM already has a program in place called Sky Blue that allows customers to purchase energy generated from a wind farm in southern New Mexico. Customers pay 22 percent more for their electricity after enrolling in the program.
New Mexico State University researchers and students are advancing the development of wind energy technology along the U.S.-Mexico border, with the ultimate goal of wind energy commercialization.
Engineers at Sandia National Laboratories have designed a data system which can continuously track the performance and of large wind turbines that produce electricity. The project, called Accurate Time Linked Data Acquisition System II, is contained in shoebox-sized aluminum structure that contains data-collection equipment and lightning protectors.
Bingaman said he had supported tax credits aimed at developing wind power plants. With those credits ending in 2007, he said companies developing those operations were getting wary about starting new projects. The senator said he would propose extending those credits.
But it's not perfect, since windy periods don't necessarily match the peak demand for electricity. "It's not just that you can turn on a light as a customer, but that you can turn it on when you want," he said. Utilities have to plan electrical generation around highest demand, he said. "We have to cope with the wind blowing when the wind blows and maybe not necessarily when we need it," he said. "That's just the reality."
While the industry portrays electricity-generating windmills as a benign and natural source of power, community opposition to new windmill farms is cropping up across the country - particularly in Eastern states, where there are more people fleeing urban blight to live in idyllic rural towns.
SANTA FE The state land commissioner has signed a lease agreement with a Santa Fe company that plans to develop a wind energy ranch in Colfax County.
The wind that whips through eastern New Mexico and the Texas Panhandle sends dust dancing through the streets. It rattles doors and windows, unravels neatly pinned hair, and leaves residents stumbling in its path.
AMARILLO, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 24, 2006--Xcel Energy has issued a request for proposals for about 40,500 megawatt-hours of annual renewable energy or renewable energy certificates to be generated from renewable technologies other than wind turbines.