December 17, 2020 Read More →

Xcel Energy completes construction of 522MW Sagamore wind farm in New Mexico

Albuquerque Journal:

A mammoth wind farm covering 156 square miles in eastern Roosevelt County will begin generating enough electricity later this month to power up about 194,000 homes.

At 522 megawatts, Xcel Energy’s Sagamore Wind Farm is by far the largest to come online in New Mexico, offering at least 40% more generating capacity than any of the next-largest facilities operating in the state.

The company invested about $900 million to build the facility, employing about 500 workers at the peak of construction, which began last December. It will become fully operational by the end of the year, with 240 wind turbines cranking out electricity for Xcel subsidiary Southwestern Public Service’s 385,000 customers in eastern New Mexico and West Texas.

The wind farm will employ 25 permanent workers and will generate about $234 million in local economic benefits over its 25-year life. That includes $44 million in gross receipt taxes, $89 million in lease payments to landowners where the wind farm is located, and $101 million in property taxes.

The Sagamore facility caps a three-year effort announced in 2017 to boost SPS’ regional wind-generating capacity by 1.23 gigawatts, or enough electricity to power about 440,000 homes annually in the SPS service territory. Last year, it inaugurated a 478-MW wind farm in Hale County, Texas, just north of Lubbock, and it signed agreements to purchase another 230 MW of wind generation from NextEra Energy. It also buys power from four other wind farms and six solar plants in New Mexico.

The Sagamore facility, outside Dora – about 17 miles south of Portales – is expected to save SPS customers about $110 million annually by offsetting fuel purchases for natural gas and other fossil fuel generation, according to the company.

[Kevin Robinson-Avila]

More: Xcel Energy inaugurates NM’s largest wind farm

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