At the Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce, we have a simple yet powerful mission: We work to build a sustainable community of local businesses that are environmentally sound, economically viable and socially responsible. Given these guiding principles, it should be no surprise that we support harvesting New Mexico’s abundant wind energy resources.
By any measure, our state needs economic development opportunities – we rank 38th in the country in GDP and 47th in unemployment. Wind energy is here to help!
Today, over 2,000 New Mexicans work in wind. Many of these jobs are wind technician positions, which are needed to operate and maintain the over 1,000 wind turbines – and counting – in our state. In fact, wind technician is America’s fastest-growing job according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and because New Mexico is among the country’s fastest growing wind states, these jobs are growing abundantly within our borders. Wind-tech jobs are well-paying positions located in rural communities, which means young people can find careers that let them support their families without having to leave home. Wind-tech careers are also technical jobs that don’t require a four-year degree – students can train for them at places like Mesalands Community College in Tucumcari.
Wind jobs aren’t just about wind techs, though. Construction companies, engineering firms and a host of other businesses are needed to bring a new wind farm online.
Wind projects also create meaningful economic development opportunities in our state’s rural communities. Every year, wind projects pay New Mexico landowners hosting turbines over $5 million in lease payments. That’s vital income for ranchers when drought hits or cattle prices fall. New Mexico’s wind projects pay $8.5 million in state and local taxes every year, and that number will only increase as we build more in the wind development pipeline. The Broadview project brought 324 MW and $1.5 billion in total economic benefits.