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Editorial: N.M. wind’s blowing steadily to renewables

It is the type of deliberate investment in renewable energy that will serve the state and nation in the long run – in contrast to economy crashing changes inflicted on the nation by Washington, D.C.

Public Service Company of New Mexico is asking for state approval to add 23 megawatts of solar energy to its electric system next year and to start purchasing 102.4 megawatts of wind-generated power in 2015. After adding these sources to its portfolio, PNM will be able to provide enough renewable energy for 132,000 homes.

The proposed additions are required under the state’s gradually increasing renewable portfolio standard – at least 10 percent of electricity from renewables this year and next; 15 percent in 2015; and 20 percent in 2020. But the sources in PNM’s proposal bode well for the state’s economic as well as literal climate – all those renewables would come from New Mexico companies and/or residents.

The solar electricity will come from PNM’s expanding solar photovoltaic facilities as well as its customers who harvest it on their homes and businesses. Wind-generated electricity will come from the NextEra Energy Resources wind farm near Grants.

Next year PNM also plans to start receiving geothermal energy from a plant being built in Lordsburg. And the State Land Office plans to accept bids to lease more than 52 square miles in the Willard/Encino area for what will be the state’s largest wind farm.

These proposals will not eliminate the state’s reliance on oil and natural gas. Nor should we attempt to do so. But they will continue to diversify its energy portfolio in a smart and measured way.

This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.

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