The Macho Springs Wind Project in Luna County, N.M., about 20 miles northeast of Deming, is done, according to Element Power. The plant, designed and built by Mortenson Construction, consists of 28 Vestas V100-1.8 megawatt (MW) wind turbines installed over approximately 2,000 acres of private ranchland.
Construction on the project began in January, creating approximately 150 jobs at a time when the local unemployment rate was approximately 14 percent, the developers said. As an operating power plant Macho Springs will provide seven full-time jobs over its 20-year duration.
The project is expected to generate enough electricity to power approximately 14,000 homes, all of which will be sold across the state line to Tucson Electric Power (TEP). Under Arizona’s renewable portfolio standard, TEP is required to source 15 percent of its retail electric load from renewable sources by 2025. TEP also plans to expand its solar energy generating capacity from 30 MW to nearly 200 MW by the end of 2014. “As TEP’s first dedicated source of wind power, the Macho Springs Wind Farm will complement our expanding array of solar energy projects, helping us develop a diverse portfolio of cost-effective renewable resources for our customers,” said David Hutchens, Executive Vice President of TEP, in a statement.
Element Power is also developing a 50-MW photovoltaic (PV) project adjacent to the Macho Springs site. “The Element Power and Mortenson teams were extremely good to work with from the start of development all the way into operations of the wind project,” Linda Smrovsky, executive director of Deming-Luna County Economic Development, said in a statement. “They kept the community informed of the project, provided regular tours to interested parties, taught about wind energy development at the local school and were extremely attentive to local needs. We welcome the opportunity to work with Element Power as it pursues plans to develop an additional solar project in our community.”
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