Carlsbad, N.M., Expands Its Energy Industry
Carlsbad is home to a rapidly growing traditional oil and gas industry, and a burgeoning solar energy marketplace. In fact, Carlsbad and Eddy County are the largest oil and gas producers in the state of New Mexico. The community is also home to a nuclear waste isolation pilot plant managed by the Department of Energy.
The solar energy sector in Carlsbad shows great promise. In October 2011, Sun Edison, a large solar energy services provider, began operating a 10.8-megawatt solar farm in the Carlsbad region, the first of five solar energy farms that have opened in southeastern New Mexico. The company is providing energy to Xcel Energy’s regional operating company, the Southwestern Public Service Co., which is diversifying its energy portfolio to meet renewable energy requirements.
The solar energy industry is attracted to Carlsbad due to assets such as 340 days of sunshine, availability of land, state incentives to support renewable energy firms, and the lack of municipal impact fees and county fees, says Jeff Campbell, marketing director, Carlsbad Department of Development.
Due to the diversity of energy-related industries, the area’s unemployment rate is 3.5 percent. Local officials are teaming with state officials to develop initiatives to attract workers to Carlsbad, including reaching out to communities in the state with high unemployment rates, such as in northern New Mexico.
Campbell says Carlsbad’s supportive business climate for green energy initiatives has attracted startups to the area; other green energy companies are researching the area.
In Carlsbad, opportunities surrounding traditional and renewable energies have created a land of opportunity.
For complete details, visit www.developcarlsbad.org.