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January 13, 2022

Tarin Nix, Deputy Commissioner of Public Affairs

State Land Office works to expand renewable energy in the Permian Basin

SANTA FE, NM – The New Mexico State Land Office announced the approval of a new solar energy project in Eddy County that will bring an estimated $7 million in new revenue for the state trust land beneficiaries.

Chevron won a public auction held last Friday for lease ES-0072 with a $140,000 bid to work with Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. to develop 326 acres of state trust land for renewable energy generation. The Hayhurst New Mexico Solar project will include approximately 55,000 solar panels and generate 20 MW to serve Chevron’s electrical load needs in the Permian Basin. Phase II will generate 11 MW, contingent on the lessee obtaining grid-intertie permission from the local electric utility.

Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard released the following statement:

“We’ve spent the last three years working tirelessly to restore our public lands and ensure better stewardship by our lessees. By partnering with Chevron, we are paving the way for other oil and gas companies to successfully transition away from the use of natural gas or electricity to power their equipment. The increased interest in use of renewable energy in extractive industries further proves the reliability and cost-effectiveness of solar energy and why increasing our renewable energy output in New Mexico is critical to the long-term health of our land and state.”

Along with establishing the first-ever Office of Renewable Energy at the State Land Office, Commissioner Garcia Richard has signed 15 long term renewable energy leases, putting the agency on track to exceed its goal of tripling its renewable energy production on state trust lands within four years. In just three years, the agency has raised over $3.7 billion for New Mexico public schools, hospitals, and colleges.