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Estancia Basin Biomass Facility, NM

STATUS: In progress with opposition

TYPE: Biomass

OPPOSITION: Citizens; WildEarth Guardians

PROSPECTS: Indeterminate

BACKGROUND:The Western Water and Power Production LLC (WWPP) applied for an air quality permit to construct and operate a 35 MW biomass power generation plant to be located on a 50 acre property on State Road 542, approximately six miles south of Estancia in Torrance County, New Mexico. The State ultimately denied the permit in May 2007.

Local citizens and the environmental community opposed the project citing emissions from the facility. "Dirty energy produced from the destruction of native forests cannot be considered clean and renewable and should be rejected as such by the states and the federal government,” aid Bryan Bird, program director for WildEarth Guardians.

After initially being denied the state Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit, the decision was reversed by the Cabinet Secretary for the Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department, Joanna Prukop, in February 2008.  On March 12, 2010, the New Mexico Division of Energy Conservation and Management sent a letter WWPP informing the company that it had not met the 24-month milestone to generate electricity as required in the state’s administrative code.  WWPP had requested a waiver of the rule and an extension on the deadline, but the agency found that the information in the request did not support such a waiver or a hearing on the issue. WWPP said it planned on appealing the decision.

SOURCES: New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department: hhttp://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/main/documents/PR-OFS.Estancia.pdf;
New Mexico Environment Department: http://www.nmenv.state.nm.us/OOTS/PR/PREstanciaDecision5-22-07.pdf;
Mountain View Telegraph: http://www.mvtelegraph.com/index.php/news/2765-biomass-plant-loses-state-tax-credits.html

Last updated November 19, 2010