New Mexico Commissioner of Public Lands Stephanie Garcia Richard awarded a lease to Revolve Afton Solar to construct a solar array on state land in Doña Ana County, quadrupling the renewable energy capacity on state lands since 2019.
Revolve Afton Solar met all requirements for the lease and submitted what the state office considered the highest and best bid. The project is expected to produce 125 MW of solar power which is enough to power roughly 20,500 homes. The project is expected to generate approximately $28 million in tax revenue for New Mexico public schools over its lifetime.
“Our efforts to diversify revenue streams for New Mexico’s schools and other institutions are showing real results. We have now quadrupled the amount of renewable energy under lease with the State Land Office in just four years,”Commissioner Garcia Richard said. “It’s my job to earn as much money as possible for New Mexico’s school kids, and expanding the renewable energy footprint on state lands is a great way to provide a new, steady and sustainable source of revenue from a rapidly growing industry. This project is another example of our efforts to harness the incredible sun and wind resources available to us in New Mexico through both large- and small-scale renewable energy projects.”
The solar project will also help New Mexico move closer to the goals set by the Energy Transition Act, which calls on the state to derive 50% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030 and 100% by 2045.
Commissioner Garcia Richard created the Office of Renewable Energy within the Commercial Division at the State Land Office. From January 2019 through September 2022, annual revenue from renewable leases on state trust land increased 1,400% and the number of active leases increased 208%.
In the 2023 legislative session, the State Land Office supported House Bill 95 – legislation sponsored by Representatives Tara Lujan and Debra Sariñana at the request of Garcia Richard to codify the Office of Renewable Energy in statute – was signed into law during the 2023 legislative session, ensuring that all future commissioners of public maintain the office and its contributions to beneficiaries of state lands.
“We know that oil and gas are finite resources and we need to use all the tools available to us to fund our schools and other beneficiaries well into the future,” Garcia Richard said. “Renewable energy development is one option that presents incredible potential for growth in the coming decades.”
News item from New Mexico State Land Office