Bill passed in New Mexico set to boost substantial geothermal power in the state

The New Mexico Senate unanimously approved three new bills prioritizing environmental initiatives, notably including House Bill 91, or the Geothermal Resources Project Fund. This legislation allocates $2.5 million towards future geothermal energy projects, tapping into the Earth’s subsurface heat for electricity generation, hot water provision, and heating and cooling solutions. Additionally, the bill establishes a geothermal projects fund and revolving loan fund to facilitate grants and loans for project financing and cost-benefit studies.

During the 2023 legislative session, a similar bill reached the state senate, but was not passed due to the Governor’s pocket veto, citing concerns over the sustainability of proposed tax cuts and financial incentives.

Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino, a prominent advocate for geothermal energy, emphasized the significance of these bills’ passage in advancing clean energy goals and harnessing geothermal resources to mitigate carbon emissions and enhance energy security. Pino’s efforts also included the establishment of the Geothermal Resource Development Act in New Mexico, which bolstered investments and research in geothermal energy by clarifying state laws and developing a Geothermal Projects Development Fund.

Current New Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich has also demonstrated support for increased incentives for geothermal energy in the state. In a presentation at the Advanced Energy Tech Conference, he platformed Eavor’s hottest and deepest directional well in history, and advocated it as an example of “New Mexico [being] a natural place to test and scale these technologies.” Eavor CEO John Redfern echoed this sentiment, stating that geothermal energy is rapidly approaching economic viability for utility-scale projects following the completion of Eavor-Deep™ in 2022.

The approval of House Bill 91 and other environmental priorities underscores proactive commitments being made to support sustainable energy solutions in the United States. With continued support from legislators and advocates, geothermal energy has the potential to generate up to 90 GW of electricity by 2050. According to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable energy, this is estimated to create well over 17,000 district heating systems, and up to 28 million geothermal heat pumps by 2050, which will substantially support a transition to cleaner power grids across the country.

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