If you want to run a marathon, you can’t start training by going on a 26-mile run right away. Similarly, when we transition to renewable energy, it can’t be done by turning off our existing energy means and throwing solar panels on every available surface. Just like with training, we need to start by building on what we’re currently capable of.
Here in New Mexico, we are lucky to have the natural advantage of abundant renewable resources. To start, we need to look toward developing renewable energy in areas that already have the strongest potential. From over 300 days of sunshine in the south to the gusty plains in the east, we are poised to quickly get in shape and build.
One project currently in development, Gladstone Wind Farm, a 80 MW endeavor that was approved by the State Land office at the very end of 2019. The proposed location will be in Union and Colfax counties. The location was chosen because of wind speeds ranging from 16-18 mph and the proximity to an existing transmission line. We need a transmission line so that our state will continue developing. The Gladstone project itself is expected to generate $8 million in state revenue! This is money that can go right back to our schools and public services.
Right now, renewable energy makes up less than 20 percent of our energy mix. As more projects like the Gladstone Wind Farm start coming online and that percentage creeps higher, we will find ourselves with the resources and endurance to soar towards the finish line of 100% clean and renewable energy. But it’s up to all of us collectively on taking that first step and voicing our support as these projects and opportunities become available.