Renewable energy is a growing industry, and the Borderplex is already developing its resources. With about 340 days of sunshine annually, Southern New Mexico is among the nation’s top resource areas for renewable energy generation.
New Mexico provides excellent resources for both flat-plate and concentrating collectors. Las Cruces and Doña Ana County lie in the #1 solar resource area in the country for flat-plate and #2 for concentrating collectors. Las Cruces is also home to the Southwest Technology Development Institute, a renewable energy research and development center housed in the College of Engineering at New Mexico State University. SWTDI operates the Southwest Region Experiment Station, which is a three-acre test and evaluation facility on the NMSU campus established by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Southwest Region Experiment Station conducts on-site and field tests of renewable energy systems and also assists with solar and wind energy program development and implementation.
Wind is a proven, cost-effective, and environmentally attractive source of power. New Mexico has a total of 496 megawatts of wind power capacity installed at four wind power plants. New Mexico also ranks twelfth in wind electric potential and is among twelve states in the midsection of the country that, together, has 90% of the total commercial wind electric potential in the contiguous United States. The annual wind energy potential of New Mexico has been estimated to be 435 billion kWh. New Mexico has the potential to produce many times its own electrical consumption, which puts it in a position to export wind electric power.
In a recent update of the geothermal database for New Mexico, 359 discrete thermal wells and springs were identified. Of this number, twelve communities in eight counties were identified as sites that potentially could utilize geothermal energy for district heating and other applications. In Doña Ana County, both Las Cruces and Radium Springs were among the twelve communities identified.
Wood burning for heating is perhaps the most traditional use of bioenergy in New Mexico, and this continues to be the largest use. The other common use of bioenergy in New Mexico involves the production of methane from municipal wastewater sludge. The City of Las Cruces is using the anaerobic digestion of municipal wastewater sludge to generate methane gas. The gas then fuels the production of electricity and heat to power the wastewater facilities. The waste stream bioenergy resource in New Mexico has been studied in detail. The total potential for energy production in this sector is large, at 35 trillion Btu per year.
The Borderplex offers world-class solar, wind and geothermal resources with a depth and diversity of other resources:
- Current incentives and tax credits for key green industries
- Substantial open land and a supportive permitting climate
- A growing cluster of clean tech manufacturing, particularly solar components supported by a well-developed manufacturing workforce and low costs of doing business
- Tremendous intellectual capital at our national laboratories and universities
- Existing, nationally recognized, green job training programs at several state community colleges
- A small, nimble, accessible, and responsive state government and local governments
Call us today to explore the growing green opportunities in the New Mexico Borderplex.