New Mexico officials are hailing the 54MW (DC) of solar PV projects in Lea and Eddy counties as the largest in the state once they reach completion. Together with SunEdison and Xcel Energy’s regional operating company Southwestern Public Service, state and county officials gathered for the ground breaking of the solar PV projects.
The projects will be developed over five different sites in the New Mexico counties and are expected to have full operation completed by the end of 2011. All five sites will have utility-scale PV solar arrays, which will lend to the anticipated production of over 112 million kWh of solar energy in their first operational year and over 2 million megawatt hours in twenty years. The projects are a major push for New Mexico to reach its renewable energy goal, which aims to have 15% of regulated electric utilities energy needs met with renewable resources by 2015 and 20% by 2020.
“SunEdison is proud of our continued relationship with Xcel Energy,” stated Carlos Domenech, president of SunEdison and executive vice president of MEMC. “Having recently activated a 70MW deployment in Italy, SunEdison has proven our ability to construct and finance large utility-scale solar deployments. We look forward to working with Xcel Energy in helping them reach their renewable energy goals”
SunEdison will be responsible for the building, financing and maintenance of all five systems and has arranged a 20-year solar power services agreement with Xcel Energy, who will buy the solar energy produced by the five PV plants. The companies did not disclose the amount of financing necessary for the projects nor what solar modules will be used.