The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission approved an application for three purchased power agreements in March, which were filed earlier this year, allowing PNM to acquire 266 MW of new renewable resources to power the expansion of the Facebook data center in Los Lunas.
The energy will come from a mix of wind and solar generation facilities to be built in eastern, central and western New Mexico. These resources will be added to the 30 MW of solar generation already under construction to serve the data center.
In late 2017, Facebook announced plans to expand the facility in the next five years, from two to a total of six buildings. To facilitate the timeline of the expansion, PNM had asked the PRC to expedite the approval process.
“We’re grateful for the commission’s rapid approval for the next phase in our collaborative effort with Facebook, which is already creating local jobs and driving new economic development in New Mexico,” said PNM Resources Chairman, President and CEO Pat Vincent-Collawn. “Today’s decision will allow us to expand our infrastructure to meet the growing energy needs associated with the Facebook data center. As the largest provider of clean energy in New Mexico, PNM is committed to increasing the use of renewable resources to serve our customers and this project supports that effort.”
These PPAs represent over a 50 percent increase in renewable energy on the PNM system. PNM currently has more than 479 MW through wind, solar and geothermal resources, which is enough energy to power almost 500,000 homes.
“We appreciate PNM partnering with us from the beginning, and are thrilled we are moving forward. These projects will not only bring hundreds of millions of dollars in investment and hundreds of construction jobs to New Mexico, but will help transform the state’s renewable energy market,” said Bobby Hollis, director of Global energy at Facebook. “We are also proud to say that, with these projects, Facebook has enabled over 1000 megawatts of new renewable energy projects to be added to the grid in the United States.”
PNM has entered into agreements with two companies, Avangrid Renewables, a subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc. and subsidiaries of NextEra Energy Resources LLC., to provide the additional power needed to match the data facility’s service requirements with 100% renewable equivalent energy.
The additional power would be generated at three sites:
• La Joya wind facility, a 166 MW wind farm that Avangrid Renewables will build east of Estancia in Torrance County, to open by 2020. It will be Avangrid’s second wind facility in that county, where it’s now finishing construction of the 298 MW El Cabo Wind Farm near Moriarty.
• Casa Mesa wind facility, a $72 million, 50 MW wind farm in Quay and DeBaca counties in eastern New Mexico to be built by NextEra Energy Resources and completed in December 2018.
• The Route 66 solar facility, a $75 million, 50 MW solar plant that NextEra Energy Resources will build in Cibola County to open in December 2021.