New Mexico solicits bids for 1,000-MW wind farm

The proposed El Cabo project in Torrance County will generate up to 1,000 MW of electricity and will be built in phases over the next decade.

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New Mexico State Land Commissioner Ray Powell announced on July 1 that the New Mexico State Land Office will be taking bids for a proposed wind energy project that would be located on 33,600 acres of State Trust Land in Torrance County.

The proposed El Cabo project ultimately could generate 1,000 MW of electricity — enough energy to supply up to 400,000 homes. The development would reduce CO2 emissions by 2.6 million tons and save more than 1.1 billion gallons of water annually compared to coal-driven electricity. The project would be built in several phases over the next 10 years, creating 1,600 construction jobs and more than 250 permanent positions.

“A new and growing source of income for the State Land Office is renewable energy leasing, which is expected to be the largest growth area for our Commercial Resources Division,” says state land commissioner Ray Powell. “In 2002, during my previous administration as State Land Commissioner, I signed a lease creating New Mexico’s first wind farm with the utility — Florida Power and Light in east-central New Mexico near Fort Sumner. Today, there are four existing wind energy projects located on State Trust Lands that are expected to earn more than $50 million over the life of the projects. There are also five pending applications that are projected to earn more than $215 million in future years.”

“These projects provide us with a tremendous opportunity to earn more money for State Trust Land beneficiaries – public schools, universities, and hospitals – and to do so while creating jobs and protecting our spectacular and unique natural world in New Mexico,” said Powell.

Bids will be accepted at a live, oral public auction to determine the highest bid for a long-term business lease. Additional information is available in the bid packet, which is available at, or upon request.

The public auction will be help on Sept. 19, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. at the Torrance County Courthouse located in Estancia, N.M., USA.