Utility firm El Paso Electric (EPE) has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) relating to the total output from the proposed 50MW Macho Springs Solar Project which is due to be constructed near Deming, New Mexico in the US. The PPA is subject to approval by the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission.
Owned by Element Power, a developer of renewable energy projects, the Macho Springs Solar Project will be built on land leased from the New Mexico State Land Office with construction forecast to begin in 2013.
During the construction phase, the project will create an average of 400 jobs. Scheduled to complete in 2014, the PV system is expected to be the “largest solar project in the state of New Mexico”. It is also expected to produce enough output to power 18,000 households.
“This project underscore’s EPE’s strategic goal to further enhance its overall energy portfolio mix by providing customers with competitive-based solar energy and helping to make a difference in the communities that we serve,” said Tom Shockley, CEO of El Paso Electric Company.
Rocky Miracle, Senior Vice President of Corporate Planning and Development at EPE added: “EPE remains at the forefront in advancing renewable energy, and El Paso Electric has taken the lead in the region in acquiring competitive solar energy resources for its customers.”
Miracle added: “With the Macho Springs Solar purchase power agreement, EPE’s owned solar energy projects and purchase power agreements represent over 5.5% of the company’s dedicated generating capacity, which represents one of the largest percentages in the United States for an investor-owned utility. El Paso Electric is committed to being a leader in the solar industry and will continue to evaluate competitive-based opportunities that will expand its renewable energy portfolio mix. In addition, EPE has one of the smallest carbon footprints of any investor-owned utility in the United States.”