Project Development, Wind Power

New Mexico Wind Power Takes Shape

More wind power plans are in the works for New Mexico. Caprock Wind, plans to install up to 80 one-MW wind-driven turbine generators near Tucumcari, New Mexico, within the next 12 months. The Caprock Wind Ranch will be constructed on privately owned Quay County land southeast of Tucumcari and southwest of San Jon, New Mexico and all the wind power will be sold to Xcel Energy.

Amarillo, Texas – September 3, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] “If the federal production tax credit for wind power is continued,” Walter Hornaday, Caprock Wind president, said, “Caprock Wind Ranch will start commercial operations in August 2004.” The wind-powered turbine generators that will be used at the ranch will rotate into shifting winds from atop tubular-steel towers more than 200 feet tall. Three blades, each nearly 100-feet-long, will drive each turbine, generating electricity when winds blow between 8 and 60 miles per hour. Caprock Wind is an affiliate of Cielo Wind Power, of Austin, Texas, a privately-held company that develops, assists with construction of and maintains utility-grade wind-power projects Under normal conditions, an 80 MW facility will generate about 245,000 MWh of power each year, Hornaday estimated. That would provide sufficient electricity to serve the year-round average needs of about 26,600 Xcel Energy-served homes. “Generation from wind is particularly attractive in this region because of the strength of winds here and because wind generation, compared to generation at conventional power plants, conserves water, which is particularly important in this area,” Hornaday said. “The cooperation of landowners and Quay County officials is another driving force in developing a successful wind project in Quay County.” Regionally, Xcel Energy purchases wind power from a 660 kW wind project at Texico and an 80 MW wind project near White Deer, Texas – both developed by Cielo Wind Power. The Texico project is New Mexico’s first commercial-scale wind generation facility. Xcel Energy and Cielo expect an expansion of the Texico facility by the end of this year.