June 29 (Renewables Now) - The US state of New Mexico has signed land leases for wind farm construction, calculating that the effort will lift the installed renewable power capacity on state trust lands to roughly 1.2 GW.
The leases were signed by New Mexico Commissioner of Public Lands Stephanie Garcia Richard on Monday following a public auction held on June 10. The contracts concern land areas totalling 147,684 acres (59,766 ha). According to estimates by the Office of Renewable Energy, they will pave the way for the deployment of at least 500 MW of wind turbine capacity, capable of supplying more than 196,000 homes per year.
The total value of the winning bids in the competition is estimated at USD 9.3 million (EUR 8.9m). The leases will expire in 2077.
Pattern SC Holdings LLC, part of the Pattern Energy Group, was the highest bidder on the 11 tracts of land. The company is proposing a wind energy project that is set to become the largest in the Western hemisphere.
At present, New Mexico state trust lands host 438 MW of renewable power capacity, while an additional 366 MW of projects are under development.
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.952)