PORTALES, New Mexico (Dec. 16, 2020) – The Sagamore Wind Project, one of the largest wind farms ever built in New Mexico, is now complete and is expected to save Xcel Energy’s New Mexico and Texas customers $110 million annually in generating fuel costs by using the free and abundant wind of Roosevelt County, New Mexico, to produce clean electricity for a growing economy.
“This is a major accomplishment not only for Xcel Energy but also for Roosevelt County and the state of New Mexico, and the benefits of this clean energy resource will be apparent for decades to come,” said David Hudson, president, Xcel Energy – New Mexico, Texas.
Xcel Energy invested more than $900 million in Sagamore, which will be in service before the end of the month. The facility was constructed by Wanzek Construction on more than 100,000 acres of crop and rangeland in east central Roosevelt County near the community of Dora, 17 miles south of Portales.
A workforce that peaked at around 500 workers built Sagamore starting in December 2019, and
approximately 25 full-time positions have been created to operate and maintain the facility going forward.
“New Mexico will continue to invest in and develop renewable infrastructure and build out our all-of-the-above energy approach,” said New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. “We’re grateful to partners like Xcel Energy and I’m incredibly excited about our drive toward a 21st century renewable energy economy. New Mexico is the place to invest, right now, and I've said it before and will say it again: If you're not here, it's time to get here."
Tax revenues and landowner payments generated by Sagamore will provide more than $234 million in local and state benefits over the 25-year life of the wind plant, providing a major economic boost and further developing New Mexico’s expanding clean energy economy.
“The completion of the Sagamore Wind Project is proof that eastern New Mexico is rapidly becoming one of the best places in the world to produce wind energy,” said U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-New Mexico. “As we look for the best ways to rebuild our economy in New Mexico and across the nation in the face of the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, we absolutely need to double down on wind energy. Wind projects like Sagamore bring millions of dollars of private investment to our state and create hundreds of new jobs in our rural communities. Let’s build on the success of Sagamore and keep moving our energy economy forward.”
Sagamore is critical to Xcel Energy’s plans to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2030. The company aspires to provide 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050 across its eight-state service area.
“While 2050 may sound like a long way off, Sagamore is a key component of our interim goal of reducing carbon emissions 80% by 2030, and we are well on our way,” said Ben Fowke, Xcel Energy Chairman and CEO. “By 2024 we expect wind and solar energy to power about half or our customers’ energy needs in Texas and New Mexico.”
Sagamore’s 240 Vestas turbines have a peak generating capacity of 522 megawatts and can produce
enough clean electricity to power close to 194,000 typical homes. This large new supply of carbon-free electricity will go a long way toward helping New Mexico meet its own clean-energy goals. Shortly after Xcel Energy announced its carbon-free plans in late 2018, New Mexico passed the Energy Transition Act of 2019 mandating 100% carbon-free electricity by 2045.
Sagamore represents a historic achievement for Xcel Energy, capping a three-year effort to boost
regional wind generating capacity by 1,250 megawatts. Of that amount, 1,000 megawatts of capacity have been constructed and are owned by Xcel Energy, including the Hale Wind Project north of Lubbock, Texas.
Additional information on Sagamore can be accessed at xcelenergy.com/Sagamore.
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About Xcel Energy
Xcel Energy (NASDAQ: XEL) provides the energy that powers millions of homes and businesses across eight Western and Midwestern states. Headquartered in Minneapolis, the company is an industry leader in responsibly reducing carbon emissions and producing and delivering clean energy solutions from a variety of renewable sources at competitive prices. For more information, visit xcelenergy.com or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
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