Wind Power

As I mentioned in our last post, a review on the book The Weather Makers, Ideum has signed up with our electricity provider to receive 90% (the maximum) of our power from renewable wind. The Weather Makers points out that power plants, coal burning ones especially, contribute significantly to global warming. This was not news to us, as we’ve been involved in helping to stop the development of a coal burning power plant in Nevada.

PNM Wind Farm

Here in New Mexico, we have a voluntary program called Sky Blue from our local power company PNM which uses wind energy. The power comes from a wind farm called the New Mexico Wind Energy Center located in the eastern part of the state. Electricity for 94,000 average-sized New Mexico homes is generated at this one farm with 136 turbines. The farm provides about 8% of PNM’s total power to the state. With so much open land, frequently windy conditions, and an average of six days of sunshine out of every seven, one has to wonder why we don’t generate more renewable energy in our state.

Unfortunately, New Mexico still receives a lot of its power from coal. Our state trails only Wyoming, North Dakota, and Indiana in our CO2 emissions per-kilowatt hour at least according to the Department of Energy’s Voluntary Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Program page. Our “emissions factor” is 2.02 lbs of CO2 per-kilowatt hour.

By switching the Ideum studio over to 90% wind power, we are saving 1,212 lbs of CO2 per-month (based on 600kWh), while adding a modest $10 per-month to our electricity bill. We’re happy to pay, to do something to help reduce CO2 emissions (not to mention other forms of pollution).

If you’re interested in finding out about similar programs your state, visit the Department of Energy’s Green Power Markets Program By State web page. To learn more about protecting the Interior West, please check out the Western Resource Advocates website.

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