Thursday, December 09, 2004

N.M. Gov. Richardson Pushes State to Become Leader in Wind Energy

The Hispanic Business Journal reports on New Mexico Gov. Richardson's plans to catapult N.M into the lead on wind energy issues : "New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson wants his state to become a leader in the new era of wind power with a plan to hopefully market the power to other Western states. "

"In a speech Dec. 1 to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Richardson outlined a seven-point program he said would make wind energy the United States' second-leading source of electrical energy behind coal, which supplies about 50 percent of the nation's needs, followed by nuclear power and natural gas."

Richardson has also called on Congress to extend the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for renewable energy for 5 to 10 years. The PTC is due to expire Dec. 31, 2005.

At the State level, Gov. Richardson is calling for the legislature to establish and fund a new agency that would assist in the development and financing of wind projects, and would help develop transmission infrastructure for wind power. As this recent article from the Dever Post points out, given the major boom in wind energy across the U.S., one of the significant issues facing the industry that remains to be addressed is transmission facilities - how to get new energy from remote locations onto the grid and into the homes of the millions of customers who are starting to demand green energy. A state agency dedicated to these and other issues specific to wind energy would be a huge advantage for N.M., and is certain to be attractive to developers looking for a friendly state reception and a predicable permitting process.

Gov. Richardson's press release has more on his ground-breaking initiatives. We're still looking for the text of his speech to FERC, and will post an update once we've located a copy.

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