TORRANCE COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) – A New Mexico county is taking advantage of being one of the windiest parts of the state, and it’s bringing in millions.
People in Torrance County are seeing windmill farms pop up all over the place, and they’re about to see even more.
“I am starting to see them now along the roadways,” resident Manuel Wood said. “You can see them that they are all out here.”
Torrance County commissioners are expected to approve an industrial revenue bond next month to fund the county’s fourth wind farm, La Joya 2, west of Encino.
“Because of our fantastic weather, the southwest is perfect for that,” Wood said.
“There is a lot of wind here,” Torrance County manager Wayne Johnson said. “We have got a lot of land and a lot of sunshine.”
Torrance County is one of the windiest spots in the state. Johnson said that plus the county’s smaller population makes it ideal for wind turbines. He said the farms will rake in an estimated combined total of around $2 million annually for Torrance County for decades to come.
“We have specific needs like fire and EMS,” Johnson said. “This provides the county with another resource to fund those services that everybody across Torrance County needs.”
Torrance County is not the only place in New Mexico experiencing a boom in wind energy. There are at least nine wind farms across eight counties including Cibola, Curry and Guadalupe.
“It’s kind of becoming the renewable energy capital,” Johnson said.
While the project will create hundreds of jobs during construction, Johnson said those will only be temporary.
“Once you get these things up and running, it is very few jobs,” Johnson said. “One of the packages required them to have just three jobs created here.”
Residents said they do not mind seeing more of these big, white blades spinning throughout the county.
“It will be great,” Wood said. “A win all the way around.”
The wind energy would be delivered to PNM’s Clines Corners substation, then transmitted to tens of thousands of homes in New Mexico.