By JEFFERSON BALDWIN NEW MEXICO — New Mexico is poised to be the largest wind energy producer in the U.S. in 2019, as it ramps up the pace of building its wind energy infrastructure and builds more turbines.
The state will have more than 100,000 megawatts of wind capacity and a wind farm that could help make up for lost production from wind farms that shut down last year, the governor’s office announced Tuesday.
The wind farm, called the New Mexico Wind Energy Center, would be located in the town of Chaco, about 25 miles north of Albuquerque.
New Mexico was the first state in the country to get wind power off the grid, but a year-and-a-half later, the U,S.
Department of Energy said wind energy is still too expensive for most households.
The new state would generate about $9 billion in the first two years of the program, the first phase of which is expected to be completed by 2019, the office said.
The first phase would have an initial capacity of 2,000 MW, but the second phase will have capacity of 3,000MW and the third phase will increase capacity to 4,000-5,000MWh, according to the office.
The project, which is being funded by a federal loan program, is the largest in the nation.
It is expected that the project will generate more than $1.8 billion in economic impact.
The center is expected cost about $1 billion to build.
The company is using state-of-the-art equipment to build and test the project.
New Mexico Gov.
Susana Martinez (R) announced in May that the state had selected a new energy provider to run the project, with the contract to be awarded by the end of 2018.
The deal, the largest of its kind in the state, is part of an agreement with the federal government to make the state the largest source of renewable energy in the United States.