New Mexico officials, Chevron dedicate solar array in Eddy County

New Mexico officials, Chevron dedicate solar array in Eddy County

New Mexico State Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard joined Chevron representatives in Eddy County last week to dedicate a large solar array being constructed on state land south of Carlsbad.

Working with Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp., Chevron recently broke ground on the 50,000-panel solar farm that will generate renewable energy for Chevron’s oil and gas operations in the Permian Basin. The project will free up energy Chevron currently gets from the grid during the day for other uses, and will reduce the carbon intensity of the company’s operations.

Chevron won the right to lease the 362-acre parcel at a public auction in January. The company issued a sublease to Hayhurst Solar to construct the solar array, which will generate about 26 megawatts of power. The project is also expected to bring in an estimated $7 million in new revenue for New Mexico’s public schools.

“My team and I are committed to creative partnerships like this as a way of finding new sources of money for New Mexico’s school kids,” said Commissioner Garcia Richard. “Projects like these are critical investments in future generations of New Mexicans.”

Allen Satterwhite, president of Chevron Pipeline and Power, credited a collaborative effort to realizing a project that will have a significant impact on reducing the carbon intensity of Chevron’s operations.

“In addition to supporting oil and gas operations, the solar power project in Hayhurst can help support the State Land Office in their continued efforts to expand renewable energy capacity in New Mexico,” Satterwhite said.

Commissioner Garcia Richard created the first-ever Office of Renewable Energy within the Commercial Division at the State Land Office. From the time she took office in 2019 till September this year, annual revenue from renewable leases on state trust land has reportedly increased by 1,400 percent and the number of active leases increased by 208 percent.

“The State Land Office is open for business and we are diversifying our revenue streams,” Commissioner Garcia Richard said.