Xcel Energy unveils plans to build 522MW wind project in New Mexico
September 02, 2019 – Xcel Energy has announced its plans to construct the 522MW Sagamore Wind Project to be located in Roosevelt County, New Mexico.
Xcel Energy will begin construction of the wind farm in fourth quarter of this year.
The company has submitted its plans to the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, stating that it has completed its development phase, including grid interconnection studies, paving the way for construction to start.
Estimated to cost nearly $900m (£736m), the wind farm could be located on more than 100,000 acres of land and will be powered by 240 turbines. Danish turbine-maker Vestas has been selected to supply the wind turbines. The construction phase will involve several New Mexico companies and employees, Xcel Energy said.
Xcel Energy New Mexico, Texas president David Hudson said: “Sagamore will pay for itself in the fuel cost savings it will generate by using one of the region’s most abundant resources – the wind – to drive its generators.”
“It will be among the cheapest generating resources on our system, and will help us conserve precious groundwater and protect the environment while bringing an immense economic benefit to eastern New Mexico.”
The initial work at the site will involve construction of roads and the preparations to build foundations to support the turbines.
The construction phase is expected to create nearly 400 jobs and after completion, nearly 30 full-time, permanent jobs will be created to provide operation and maintenance of the wind farm.
When completed in later part of next year, the wind farm could generate enough clean energy to be supplied to 194,000 US homes, while bringing millions of dollars in terms of economic benefits to New Mexico. The Sagamore wind farm is claimed to be the single largest wind facility in the state.
As part of its wind energy expansion plans, Xcel Energy has also started purchasing 230MW in wind energy in two wind farms in the region, owned and operated by NextEra Energy Resources.
Wind expansion is part of Xcel Energy’s commitment to reduce 80% in carbon emissions by 2030 and the company aspires to generate 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050.
This year, the state of New Mexico adopted the Energy Transition Act that mandates a 100% carbon-free electricity future by 2045.