New Mexico is Getting Ready for Geothermal
Geothermal energy is drawing bi-partisan support throughout the legislative session as two bills have received do pass votes in both committees and chamber floors.
The Senate Conservation Committee passed House Bill 365 after the bill cleared house committees and with strong support on the house floor with a vote of 63-3.
Senate Bill 8 has been given a due pass recommendation from two senate committees and unanimously in the senate chamber.
Like wind and solar energy, Geothermal is a renewable resource; it produces energy through a closed loop system that exchanges heat from the depths of the earth to a medium, such as water or molten salt, and cycles the medium to the surface where the heat can be transferred to electricity.
Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pinto thinks that New Mexico is well positioned to implement geothermal technologies.
“We happen to be positioned wonderfully because we have the petroleum and natural gas industry who’ve developed techniques for drilling to the depths that are required to reach rocks hot enough to generate electricity. Utilizing the skill of the petroleum industry we think we have great opportunities in New Mexico.”
A 16 million dollar appropriation has been removed from HB 365 by the House Finance Committee and Senator Williams Soules believes that the appropriation could help position New Mexico to be a world leader in geothermal energy.
“This ought to be a place finance would be looking to put additional money rather than trying to do it on the cheap. I’m railing against the frustration of the finance committee that tries to under-fund everything instead of look at things that can make a huge difference and New Mexico could be a world leader in by putting extra funding into it.”
Adding geothermal to New Mexico’s renewable energy resources could position the state to lower fossil fuel dependency while still utilizing technologies developed by those industries.