New Mexico leases state land for 125-MW solar project


New Mexico Commissioner of Public Lands Stephanie Garcia Richard has leased Revolve Afton Solar to build a solar array on public land in Doña Ana County, quadrupling renewable energy capacity on public lands since 2019.

Revolve Afton Solar met all requirements for the lease and submitted what the state office deemed the highest and best offer. The project is expected to generate 125 MW of solar energy, enough to power approximately 20,500 homes. The project is expected to generate about $28 million in tax revenue for New Mexico public schools over its lifetime.

“Our efforts to diversify revenue streams for New Mexico’s schools and other institutions are showing real results. We have now quadrupled the amount of renewable energy under lease with the State Land Office in just four years,” said Commissioner Garcia Richard. “My job is to make as much money as possible for New Mexico’s school children, and expanding the footprint of renewable energy on public lands is a great way to provide a new, stable and sustainable source of revenue from a rapidly growing industry. This project is another example of our efforts to utilize the incredible solar and wind resources available to us in New Mexico through both large and small-scale renewable energy projects.”

The solar project will also help New Mexico move closer to goals set by the Energy Transition Act, which calls for the state to get 50% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030 and 100% by 2045.

Commissioner Garcia Richard created the Office of Renewable Energy within the Commercial Division of the State Land Office. Between January 2019 and September 2022, annual revenue from renewable leases on public trust lands increased by 1,400%, and the number of active leases increased by 208%.

In the 2023 legislative session, the State Land Office supported House Bill 95; legislation sponsored by Representatives Tara Lujan and Debra Sarinana at the request of Garcia Richard to codify the Office of Renewable Energy into law was signed into law during the 2023 legislative session. ensuring that all future commissioners of the public maintain the office and its contributions to the beneficiaries of public lands.

“We know that oil and gas are finite resources and we must use all the tools available to us to fund our schools and other beneficiaries in the future,” Garcia Richard said. “The development of renewable energy is one option that represents incredible potential for growth in the coming decades.”

News from the New Mexico State Land Office

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