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Standing Together to Move Solar Projects Forward

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Project Profile: Hecate Energy – Jicarilla Apache Nation Solar Project

Growing up in New Mexico, I remember colorful falls, cold (sometimes snowy) winters, windy springs, and smoldering hot summers. I remember having sprinklers on and running through them to keep cool in those summers. “Constant sun” and “New Mexico” are two things I view as synonymous, but I never once thought about the potential that our powerful rays could bring to our state in the form of solar energy power.

Almost 10 years ago, former Governor Richardson implemented a plan to bring more renewable energy into the state.2 And most recently, Governor Grisham signed an executive order stating that by 2050 New Mexico will use 100% renewable energy.5  Both of these moves were groundbreaking steps in the right direction, but now our communities and our decision makers are tasked with a tough question— how do we actually get there?

There are several communities around the state leading the way. They’re building wind and solar farms and working with local landowners and elected officials to do so. The Jicarilla Apache Nation, for instance, is shifting their entire energy production by building a 500-acre solar farm. This solar farm alone has the potential to provide energy to over 50% of the energy needs in the City of Albuquerque alone.1

The project has encountered some hurdles, though. It currently needs final approval from the Public Regulation Committee to move forward. The project will not only support residents with clean energy in Albuquerque but also within the Tribal Nation.4  It will bring a sense of independence to residents who can have a choice as to where they get their energy. 

When advocates like you speak out, we bring people power to the movement for a clean future! You can support this solar project and other projects around the state by signing our petition today. ​

Written by Danielle Garcia
Danielle grew up in Bosque Farms, New Mexico in Valencia County. From an early age, she was passionate about working with young girls of color getting involved in leadership roles around science topics. With a lot of support and scholarships, she went to Eckerd College in Florida getting a BA in Geoscience with minors in Environmental Studies and Philosophy. Attending Eckerd College, Danielle was a Co-Founder of a social justice club, Latinos Unidos, the first club to reach Latinos on campus. Over the next free years, she became involved in political and environmental aspects seeing where they intersected. Now back in New Mexico with her cats, she has grown even more passionate about climate change and bringing an equitable system of sustainability to future generations.

Sources:

1 https://www.abqjournal.com/1321916/city-of-abq-helps-drive-new-50-megawatt-solar-energy-facility.html
2 https://www.cdfa.net/cdfa/cdfaweb.nsf/fbaad5956b2928b086256efa005c5f78/223ffb40106e0269862576b200520b9e/$FILE/nm%20order.pdf
3 http://www.hecateenergy.com/news/2019/06/albuquerque-to-get-closer-to-100-with-solar-farm-on-apache-land/
4 https://www.nativebusinessmag.com/jicarilla-apache-solar-farm-to-empower-albuquerques-100-percent-clean-energy-mission/
5 https://www.governor.state.nm.us/2019/03/22/governor-signs-landmark-energy-legislation-establishing-new-mexico-as-a-national-leader-in-renewable-transition-efforts/

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