Courtesy of Energy Business Review
El Paso Electric Company (EPE) and SunEdison, a subsidiary of MEMC Electronic Materials, have inaugurated a 12MW solar power plant in Las Cruces, New Mexico, US. Spread over 140 acres, the new Las Cruces Centennial Solar Farm, which was activated in May, is located near Las Cruces International Airport.
The solar farm uses more than 48,000 of MEMC’s Silvantis P280 photovoltaic modules which are expected to generate more than 32 million kilowatt hours of solar energy in the first year and will eventually rise to 773 million kilowatt hours in the next 25 years.
EL Paso Electric Company CEO Tom Shockley said the company continues to evaluate opportunities to invest in additional projects in the future to expand its renewable energy portfolio. “Currently, EPE’s owned renewable energy projects and purchase power agreements represent almost 3 percent of the Company’s net dependable generating capacity, which represents one of the largest percentages of renewable energy for a company of EPE’s size in the United States,” he added.
SunEdison North America general manager Tim Derrick said the company is able to provide smart, affordable, solar energy applications to the utility customers across the globe. “SunEdison is proud of the work accomplished with EPE and commends their leadership and continued commitment to renewable energy,” Tim added.
SunEdison, which inked a 25-year contract with El Paso Electric to buy the plant’s electricity, led the construction and financing of the project and will be the operator of the plant. El Paso noted the plant’s energy will reduce emissions of more than 1.1 billion pounds of CO2 over 25 years which is equivalent to nearly 4,400 cars per year.
EPE and SunEdison have also revealed that a 10MW solar farm will soon be commissioned in Chaparral, New Mexico and is nearing completion.