New Mexico Governor Martinez and Energy, Minerals, & Natural Resources Department Secretary Martin released the New Mexico Energy Policy and Implementation Plan in mid-September.
New Mexico is one of the most energy-rich and energy-diverse states in the nation. Southeast and northwest New Mexico produce large amounts of oil and natural gas. These industries provide much of the revenue to run state government—for things like public education spending, Medicaid, and critical public-safety efforts. The sun also shines brightly and is available for harvest across New Mexico, and the state boasts a thriving solar economy. Additionally, there is an abundance of wind, geothermal, and other renewable-energy resources.
The New Mexico Energy Plan ensures that the state will expand its role as an energy leader, while continuing to provide income and create jobs across energy industries. The New Mexico Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) worked with hundreds of New Mexicans across the state’s geography and stakeholders that represented all energy resources throughout 2014 to develop the plan, the first of its kind in nearly 25 years.
Sandians Dan Borneo, Abbas Akhil, and Georgianne Huff (all in Sandia’s Energy Storage Technology & Systems Dept.) participated in the New Mexico Renewable Energy Storage Working Group that helped produce the information that informed this Energy Policy.
By any measure, the energy storage industry is growing. Greater penetration of renewable energy, particularly wind and solar, has created demand for energy storage services, as have state mandates such as California’s to provide 1.3 GW of grid-tied energy storage by 2020. Energy storage is a possible sector for economic growth in New Mexico because the state has all the technical resources to implement several forms of storage.
In New Mexico, there are two existing battery energy storage demonstration projects: Public Service Company of New Mexico’s (PNM) Prosperity Project and LANL and Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities’ smart grid demonstration with NEDO, a Japanese government organization. Sandians have been essential contributors to both of these projects.
New Mexico’s national laboratory energy expertise, its engineering and science public universities, and existing demonstration projects could lead to a robust energy storage industry in the state. The NM document’s recommendations in this area include pursuing energy storage development with the private sector, especially new technology projects such as advanced batteries and flywheel/hydraulic energy storage systems.