Oct. 21, 2002
PNM, FPL Energy Agreement Will Bring
Albuquerque: Eastern New Mexico next year will become the site of one of the nation's single largest wind generation facilities, the result of an agreement announced today by PNM, a subsidiary of PNM Resources (NYSE: PNM), and FPL Energy LLC, a subsidiary of FPL Group, Inc. (NYSE: FPL).
Under terms of the agreement, FPL Energy will construct, own and operate the 204-megawatt (MW) facility, located 20 miles northeast of Fort Sumner, in Quay and De Baca counties. PNM will buy all of the power from the facility under a long-term contract.
The facility, to be called the New Mexico Wind Energy Center, is expected to begin commercial operation in 2003. It will produce enough electricity to supply 94,000 average-sized New Mexico homes.
"The scale of this project will put New Mexico on the map as one of the nation's leading producers of renewable energy," said PNM Chairman, President and CEO Jeff Sterba. "As renewable technology continues to improve, and costs come down, it is clearer than ever that smart business decisions and environmental stewardship can successfully coexist. PNM is thrilled to play a role in making renewable energy an everyday reality in New Mexico."
Michael O'Sullivan, senior vice president of development for FPL Energy, said, "We're pleased to be able to add the New Mexico Wind Energy Center to our growing portfolio of wind energy projects and are excited about working with PNM on this new venture."
O'Sullivan noted that FPL Energy remains committed to wind energy generation.
"Wind offers significant environmental benefits, helps to diversify our energy sources and utilizes an abundant renewable natural resource," he said. "Today's new technologies now make wind generation more efficient and cost-effective to our customers and their end users."
Sterba said PNM is buying the clean energy for several reasons, including:
Sterba said PNM plans to ask state regulators for approval of a program sometime in 2003 that will allow interested customers to buy wind-generated electricity for a small monthly premium. Any power from the facility not directed toward the residential and business customer subscription program would be sold on the wholesale market, either within New Mexico or outside the state.
Construction on the New Mexico Wind Energy Center is expected to begin later this year. Construction on a facility of this size typically takes six to nine months to complete. The wind facility will be composed of 136 separate towers, each 210 feet tall, with turbine blades that measure more than 110 feet in length. The facility will send power to PNM's electric grid.
FPL Energy, headquartered in Juno Beach, Fla., is the nations leader in wind energy, with 26 wind facilities in operation in nine states. The company is also a leading independent producer of clean energy from natural gas, solar energy and hydroelectric power, generating more than 80 percent of its power from clean and renewable sources. It has a total of 91 facilities, with nearly 11,300 megawatts of capacity in operation, under construction or announced development in 22 states. It is a subsidiary of FPL Group Inc., nationally known as a high-quality, efficient and customer-driven organization focused on energy-related products and services, and the parent of Florida Power & Light, Floridas largest electric utility serving 4 million customer accounts.
PNM is the principal subsidiary of PNM Resources, an energy holding company based in Albuquerque. PNM provides natural gas service to 441,000 gas customers and electric utility service to 378,000 customers in New Mexico. The company also sells power on the wholesale market in the Western U.S. PNM Resources stock is traded primarily on the NYSE under the symbol PNM.