El Cabo Wind Farm Plans to Increase Workforce as Final Construction Phase Gets Underway
Santa Fe, NM – State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn today announced Avangrid Renewables, the nation’s second-largest provider of wind power, is expected to begin installing turbines next week at El Cabo Wind Farm, located four miles west of Encino in Torrance County – and will be adding to its workforce.
A recent jobs report from Avangrid Renewables shows 300 temporary construction jobs have been filled, and an additional 100 workers will be hired during the month of April.
Post construction, Avangrid expects to hire 17 permanent full-time employees.
“I appreciate Avangrid Renewables selecting State Trust Lands for the site of the El Cabo Wind Farm,” said Commissioner Dunn. “Expanding wind power on Trust lands will help New Mexico meet its renewable energy goals, as well as create jobs, boost economic development, and generate revenue for public schools.”
Avangrid Renewables has already invested, or committed, $38 million to the economy by contracting with Albuquerque-based engineering, construction, and planning and design firms. Less tangible, but still valuable contributions to the local economy include the opening of two new restaurants – Packs in Willard and Fire House in Encino.
The 87,000-acre project spans 27,000 acres of State Trust Lands and 60,000 acres of private property. The facility will consist of 142 turbines – 10 of which are on State Trust Lands – and will produce 200 megawatts of energy, enough to power nearly 61,000 homes and businesses. Transmission will use existing Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) lines to Clines Corners.
The term of the lease is 45 years and carries a $93,000 annual rental. Since the inception of the lease, the State Land Office has earned $396,278. Once generation begins, a percentage of annual revenue earnings associated with production will be added to the rental.
Public schools are the beneficiary of the project and rentals earned will flow to school districts across the state.
In 2007, New Mexico passed a renewable portfolio standard (RPS), requiring utilities to generate 20% of their 2020 sales from renewable resources. The RPS contains a wind carve-out that requires wind to meet at least 30% of the total requirement.
For the 12 month period ending October 2016, wind energy provided nearly 11% of all in-state electricity production.
Oil, gas, and mineral production, ranching and farming, and commercial development on State Trust Lands support public schools, the New Mexico School for the Deaf, the New Mexico School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, the New Mexico Military Institute, seven universities, three hospitals, correctional facilities, water conservation projects, and public building construction and repair.
By: Aubrey Dunn, State Land Commissioner (State of New Mexico)
Contact: Kristin Haase, Assistant Commissioner for Communications
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