New Mexico is to develop the state’s first biomass plant with the news that PNM and Western Water and Power Production have signed a 20-year power purchase agreement from a 35 MW biomass power plant due go into service in early 2009.

The plant, located in Torrance County, near Estancia, N.M, will be sited adjacent to Tagawa Greenhouses, which will utilise waste heat from the facility.

The plant will be owned and operated by Western while PNM will purchase the power.

Under state law, New Mexico electric utilities must purchase at least 10% of their customers’ electricity requirements from renewable energy resources by 2011.