It’s a valuable part of the electricity generation mix, and PNM has made significant investments in wind.
Since coming online in 2003, PNM has been purchasing all of the power produced at the New Mexico Wind Energy Center near Ft. Sumner. At the time, it was one of the largest wind farms in the world. Consisting of 136 turbines, each standing 333 feet tall, the facility can produce up to 200 megawatts, which can power when the wind blows approximately 73,000 homes using an average amount of electricity.
In 2015, PNM increased its wind generation capacity by 50 percent by purchasing all of the energy produced by the Red Mesa Wind Energy Center located in Cibola County, New Mexico.
What Does It Cost?
Wind farms require a significant amount of land for the turbines, and there are large up-front financial investments. In spite of that, wind is currently the most economical resource for energy generation, costing approximately three cents per kilowatt-hour.
However, wind is also an intermittent resource, which is available to our customers about one-third of the time and only 5 percent of the time when customers need it the most, or what’s called “peak demand.” This means that 95 percent of the time when people need power the most, it must be supplied from other energy sources.
PNM will continue to invest in wind energy in a way that maximizes the benefits to customers while minimizing the costs.
5 Key Facts About Wind Power
- Wind generation has no emissions or water use.
- A single turbine can power 500 homes when the wind blows.
- Roughly 46,000 wind turbines are in operation in the U.S.
- Wind generation has no direct fuel cost.
- PNM increased its wind generation capacity by 50 percent in 2015.