This month, U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm; New Mexico Representative Melanie Stansbury; Mike Garland, CEO of Pattern Energy; Sarah Webster, VP at Pattern Energy; Sarah Cottrell Propst, Cabinet Secretary, Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department of New Mexico; Brian Condit, with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 611; and Fernando Martinez, with the New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority, participated in a roundtable discussion hosted by Senator Martin Heinrich.
The cross-section of leaders involved in New Mexico based renewable energy projects helped to illustrate both the progress New Mexico has made toward harnessing our clean energy potential, while also highlighting the ways a national infrastructure bill and the Department of Energy can help accelerate development. The panel particularly discussed the challenges with permitting transmission lines and ways in which the federal government could help expedite transmission development. The panel highlighted the Western Spirit transmission and wind farm projects. Pattern Energy is the developer of Western Spirit, in partnership with the New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority (NM RETA). RETA is a unique quasi-governmental organization that partners with developers to advance transmission lines.
New Mexico is home to some of the greatest renewable energy potential in the country, ready to power the west. In order to realize that potential, New Mexico must build out the transmission and grid infrastructure that matches where our wind and solar energy potential is most potent. Conversations like these that connect the dots on all aspects of development will help the state realize its clean energy goal, create clean energy jobs, and help address climate change – all wins for New Mexicans.
To read more about the event, check out this article in the Albuquerque Journal.