Albuquerque’s Energy Grid Gets Major Capital Investment

New Mexico’s Energy Storage System Paves Way for a Green Future.

Dec. 14, 2022

The City of Albuquerque is announcing a $95 million Industrial Revenue Bond to assist in the creation of what will be one of New Mexico’s first stand-alone battery energy storage system (BESS), a piece of advanced energy infrastructure that is necessary as New Mexico progresses towards a 100% emissions-free future for electricity production.

The “Sandia Peak Grid” BESS project is a utility-scale electric storage facility that provides flexible, emissions-free capacity and ancillary services to support a decarbonizing New Mexico electric system while maintaining reliable and low-cost electric service to Albuquerque homes and businesses. The facility stores energy, including energy generated by renewables like solar and wind, to then use when consumers need it, keeping energy flowing and prices down. By managing the supply of stored energy in the grid, this is an important technology enabling the growth for the city’s renewable energy sector. 

“It is vital that we invest in infrastructure that supports our growing economy and continues to set Albuquerque apart as a leader in next-generation clean energy production,” said Terry Brunner, Acting Director of Economic Development Department. 

Mayor Keller signed legislation issuing the industrial revenue bond to assist with the purchase and improvement of an existing vacant site to create the BESS near the PNM Reeves Generating Station. The parent company of the Sandia Peak Grid project, Eolian, L.P. (Eolian), brings nearly 20 years of experience in developing and operating clean energy projects across the country.

 “We are continuing our investments in a resilient, modern energy grid for consumers today and for generations of Burqueños to come who will live in a New Mexico powered by renewable energy,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “Once operating, this stand-alone battery storage system will be the next step forward, facilitating growth in the renewable energy industry and paving the way for a carbon-free future.”

“Since development of the project began in 2020, the Eolian team has been engaged with the community and elected officials to ensure that this investment will have a positive impact on the city,” said Eolian CEO Aaron Zubaty. “This location was chosen years ago because of its ability to provide modern, fast-responding, and pollution-free reliability and grid-balancing solutions directly in the heart of PNM’s largest load zone, adjacent to a gas-fired power plant. We are excited to see this major milestone completed with the support and partnership of the City of Albuquerque.”

The project is estimated to create between 60 and 100 primarily local jobs during the construction of the facility and produce a positive fiscal impact for the City over the term of the bonds.