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Energy Resource Rich Site Approved For Vistas at Presidio Development In Las Cruces


Las Cruces City Council has approved annexation and development of thousands of acres on the East Mesa. Vistas at Presidio will be built over a vast geothermal field and under the nation’s second most intense solar radiation. New Mexico State University has decades of experience in research and implementation of geothermal and solar energy. For over 20 years NMSU used geothermal energy to heat dormitories, classrooms and provide hot water for showers and the indoor pool. The University has been generating solar electricity and testing solar equipment for decades. Prominent experts and consultants in renewable energy live and work in Las Cruces. John Wiles with the Southwest Technology Development Institute consults with local and state governments developing solar energy. James Witcher is a geologist with nearly three decades of experience in geothermal exploration and development.

Governor Richardson has issued Executive Orders, the New Mexico Legislature has passed tax incentives and the Public Regulation Commission has passed rules to promote locally generated renewable energy. Citizens in Las Cruces have sent letters and e-mails to the Mayor and City Councilors. They have spoken at City Council meetings, have met with the City Manager and the City Attorney. In addition they have written letters and articles urging the City to promote renewable energy. The South West Energy Alliance held an Energy Fair on the Mall in Las Cruces and a lecture series at South West Environmental Center. Clearly, Las Cruces is a preeminent location in the nation for development of renewable energy resources. Yet, these resources are not currently being used by local government, or being incorporated into fast growing commercial and residential building. Renewable energy resources do not appear to be on the radar of local planning, codes and zoning.


The Las Cruces municipality has a market driven administration. Perhaps market forces will drag developers kicking and screaming into leading the City officials toward participating in the New Mexico that Governor and candidate Richardson touts as a state that has done the most to “promote renewable energy and fight global warming."

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