A Virginia-based energy company plans a wind farm near Grady that will generate about 150 jobs in Quay County when it tentatively goes online in 2020.
The Quay County Commission learned of the development during a presentation Monday by Marc Sydnor, a developer with Apex Clean Energy based in Charlottesville, Virginia, that has an office in Denver. The privately held company since 2009 has developed 3,000 megawatts of solar and wind power – enough for 1 million homes. This would be its first development in New Mexico.
Sydnor said Apex has secured 40,000 acres of leases for the Grady-Martin Wind Energy project that straddles the Quay and Curry counties. The project would generate 297 megawatts of electricity with 80 to 120 wind turbines, depending on the type used. The proposed development area lies west of wind farms near Broadview and Caprock.
Sydnor said the project would have a $4.8 million economic effect on Quay County and $23 million on New Mexico. It would generate about 500 jobs in the state, including 150 in Quay County.
He said Apex this month will apply for a license from the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission and try to secure a purchase agreement for the wind power with Xcel Energy.
Sydnor said his company tries to work with communities and landowners with its projects. So far with the Grady-Martin development, he said only one landowner has refused to lease his property.
“It’s been a pleasure working in this part of the world,” he said. “We still like to be good neighbors.”
In other business:
• Richard Primrose, county manager, said he contacted state lawmakers and Tom Church, Cabinet secretary of the New Mexico Department of Transportation, in an effort to break an impasse over repairs to a damaged cattle guard on County Road AF on U.S. 54 right-of-way.
The state has refused to repair the guard, though it installed it as a courtesy. Quay County maintains cattle guards it installs, Primrose said, and he’s awaiting a response from the state.
“Right now, we don’t have a resolution,” he said.
District II Commissioner Mike Cherry said the legislature may have to resolve the dispute. If the state refuses to maintain cattle guards on state right of way, “it’s a huge liability for us.”
District I Commissioner Sue Dowell brought up the matter during the commission’s previous meeting.
District III Commissioner Frank McCasland was absent Monday because of knee surgery.
• County Road Superintendent Larry Moore said he’s awaiting better weather conditions before seal-coating County Road AI, known as Airport Road. The road, which links U.S. 54 to Interstate 40 and often is used by big trucks, was repaired a few weeks ago but still has a gravel surface. Once the road is seal-coated, Moore said it will be restriped.
• Moore said the county soon will begin resurfacing county roads 60, 64 and 65 near San Jon.
• The commission approved a proclamation request from Susan Lease, Quay County DWI preventionist, for Red Ribbon Week on Oct. 23-31. It promotes an alcohol- and drug-free lifestyle and encourages businesses to display red ribbons in solidarity. The Red Ribbon Carnival will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 27 at the Quay County Fairgrounds.