The New Mexico State Investment Council voted recently to approve a groundbreaking Renewable Energy Strategic Plan.
The plan, adopted by the 11-member public investment board, of which I serve as vice chair, is a first for the council in terms of prioritizing targeted investment in renewable energy projects in New Mexico and beyond.
This effort is focused on generating sound investment returns for the state, and will play a huge role in helping to shape New Mexico’s renewable energy future by advancing clean energy efforts, diversifying the states revenue portfolio, and creating new jobs.
The SIC is responsible for managing investments for New Mexico’s $29 billion permanent funds. Our vote to approve this historic plan signals our commitment — at last — to clean energy build out and investment. The SIC has indicated its intent to pursue high quality, responsible investment into one of New Mexico’s greatest economic opportunities.
At the State Land Office, we are already on track to exceed our goal to triple the amount of clean, renewable energy generated on state trust land, which has the added benefit of raising money for New Mexico’s public schools, hospitals and universities.
One of my first successes after being elected was the creation of the first-ever Office of Renewable Energy within the State Land Office. Because of these efforts, we’ve signed $80 million worth of new wind leases in just two years. The adoption of this plan provides an opportunity to use New Mexico’s endowment dollars to further invest in New Mexico’s renewable projects.
The plan acknowledges that renewables are a growth industry and commits the SIC to taking advantage of that growth potential. The move is a clear shift from the SIC’s past neutrality in investment in renewable energy markets, which neither encouraged nor discouraged investments in the growing sector. The plan goes on to state that it is “designed to promote the viable and emerging New Mexico renewable energy industry.
New Mexicans should be on the look-out for several new renewable energy projects being announced by the State Land Office in the coming months. Our Office of Renewable Energy is cranking away at a speed we’ve never seen before. With this new SIC Strategic Plan, coupled with the number of project applications coming to fruition in our office, 2021 is set to be the best year on record for New Mexico’s renewable energy future.