Work begins on largest wind farm in New Mexico

 

Work was scheduled to begin this week on a $900 million Xcel Energy wind farm that will eventually be the largest to ever be constructed in the state of New Mexico.

Located near Portales, the 522-megawatt Sagamore Wind Project is expected to be completed late next year and sprawl across 100,000 acres in the state’s Roosevelt County.

It is expected to be able to meet the annual electricity needs of nearly 194,000 homes, according to Xcel, a renewable energy company headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The project will support more than 300 workers in construction as well as 30 full-time jobs. North Dakota-based Wanzek Construction will be the builder on the project, which will use 240 turbines from Denmark-based Vestas Wind Systems.

“This is a historic investment for Roosevelt County, but its benefits reach far beyond,” David Hudson, president of Xcel Energy – New Mexico, Texas, said in a statement. “We’ll see a significant economic boost to the New Mexico economy through increased jobs, royalty payments to landowners and more revenue for county and school budgets. And for the next 25 years, Xcel Energy customers in both New Mexico and Texas will benefit from lower fuel costs, since our fuel source is the free and abundant wind of eastern New Mexico.”

North Dakota-based Wanzek Construction will be the builder on the project, which will use 240 turbines from Denmark-based Vestas Wind Systems according to Albuquerque Business First.

In May 2017, Xcel announced it would invest $1.5 billion in New Mexico and Texas over the next three years to support long-term growth in the area, with the bulk of the money going to new substations and transmission lines, according to previous Business First reporting. Xcel spent nearly $500 million with its vendors in New Mexico and Texas in 2017.

Sources:  Associated Press and Business First.

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