Power Lines Key to New Mexico Becoming a Renewable Leader 

Study and update confirm opportunity to see $11 billion in private investment.

For Release: March 8, 2022

Contact: Tom Garrity, tom@garritypr.com, 505-898-8689

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – The New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority (NM RETA) announced today that there are $11 billion of untapped renewable energy resources in New Mexico. The renewable assets are a part of an updated study that recommends next steps to increase development of generation and transmission resources in New Mexico.

The update affirms previous findings that New Mexico’s enormous renewable generation potential can satisfy New Mexico’s clean energy goals and support the goals of other states but requires significant upgrades to the state’s transmission infrastructure. Over 11,000 MW of renewable energy may be available over the next decade, about $11 billion of new investment. However, New Mexico can currently only export less than 1,000 MW.

New Mexico’s grid severely limits renewable electricity delivery to both in-state and export customers, greatly constraining the development of renewable generation within New Mexico. In fact, the Western Sprit Transmission project, a $400 million project in New Mexico, was the first major transmission project in New Mexico in 40 years. Adding another transmission corridor to connect New Mexico to the neighboring markets can help to address this challenge.

The Study Update also projected economic benefits significant for the 900 to 1,300 miles of transmission lines needed, to tap New Mexico’s renewable energy, including:

  • Line construction: $1-2 billion of capital spending to New Mexico and 3,600 jobs.
  • Wind and solar plant construction: $8 billion in capital spending and 20,000 jobs.
  • Operation and maintenance of lines and plants: 760 permanent jobs, creating $10-20 million a year in economic activity.
  • Overall economics: $1 billion per year in economic activity, $15 million per year in state and local tax revenue.
  • ROI: Return on investment for developers of 9-to-38%.

The update, which delved into the state of renewable energy, transmission and storage in New Mexico, also included a variety of solutions. Among those highlighted were the need for:

  • Industry partnerships
  • A streamlined development process
  • A coordinated approach for energy in the western region.


    About the New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission and Storage Study Update

    New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority (NM RETA) engaged ICF to conduct a study of the possible future potential for renewable energy, transmission, and electric storage in New Mexico. The study, which used a multi-step approach and relied on industry standard modeling tools and expert knowledge, had four goals:

    • Consider the technical and economic potential for renewable resources in New Mexico through 2032.
    • Use scenario analysis to consider factors that would impact the demand for renewables developed in New Mexico through 2032.
    • Assess transmission (Collector Plan) development needs to support integration of expanded renewables on New Mexico’s electric network.
    • Determine the economic impact to New Mexico associated with transmission and renewable development under alternative development scenarios.

    The full summary and report are available here: https://nmreta.com/nm-reta-transmission-study/

    About New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority

    NM RETA was created by New Mexico lawmakers to facilitate the development of electric transmission and storage projects. The result is that power can be moved across New Mexico and exported out of New Mexico. For more information visit https://nmreta.com. 

    Press Information

    Contact RETA

    Seeking more information? We’re ready to talk with you. Our representatives are available Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to provide more insight to you.

    Public Records requests of the New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority should be sent to:

    Valerie Moquino, New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority, 1400 S. Saint Francis Drive, Suite C, Santa Fe, NM  87505