July 24, 2008

Air Force Signs With N.M. On Energy

By Jack King Journal Staff Writer

SANTA FE -- Four proposals for developing renewable energy in New Mexico were announced Wednesday, but none of them contained specifics.

Gov. Bill Richardson, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force Bill Anderson and officials of Albuquerque, Alamogordo and Clovis signed non-binding memoranda of understanding to jointly pursue development of renewable energy projects. Albuquerque is home to Kirtland Air Force Base, while Holloman Air Force Base is near Alamogordo and Cannon Air Force Base is at Clovis. Anderson said these are the first such MOUs the Air Force has signed with any state. They are: *An announcement of the Air Force's intention to pursue purchasing green power for Kirtland.

*An agreement among the state, the city of Alamogordo and the Air Force to pursue a project to supply solar power to Holloman.

* An agreement among the state, the city of Clovis, the Air Force and the Southwest Biomass Cooperative to pursue creation of a power generation project using dairy waste.

* An agreement between the state, the city of Clovis and the Air Force to pursue development of a wind energy project near Clovis.

Details of all the possible projects must still be worked out.

Richardson said the four projects could provide between $600 million and $800 million in capital investment in the state, and between 145 megawatts and 245 megawatts of additional renewable energy.

But Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Secretary Joanna Prukop said at Wednesday's news conference that no plans have been developed for any of the projects. Instead, within two months reports will be made to the Governor's Office on their feasibility, including any "fatal flaws" each contains. Within four months preliminary business plans will be presented to Prukop's department, she said.

Anderson said the Air Force would not contribute money for the development of any of the projects.

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