Xcel energy has agreed to purchase 140MW of photovoltaic solar energy from two planned solar developments near Roswell, New Mexico.
The company has entered into two long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) with Florida-based NextEra Energy Resources.
Xcel hopes to add the 140MW before the federal investment tax credits end for new projects in 2016. The two PPAs are now up for approval by the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission.
David Hudson, president of Southwestern Public Service Company, an Xcel Energy company, believes that the price of the solar energy that they will purchase with New Mexico’s subsidies will help keep fuel prices low.
Hudson said: “Not only is solar energy dropping in price, it also displaces megawatts generated from some of our older, less-efficient natural gas-fueled plants. This saves on fuel costs and environmental compliance for years to come, and these savings are passed directly on to our customers in Texas and New Mexico.”
Xcel planned on gaining up to 200MW of solar energy for its Texas-New Mexico base, the company announced in 2014. NextEra was planning on building three solar projects near Roswell, New Mexico. The energy generation of two of these three projects are the components of Xcel’s current purchase.
Mike McLeod, Xcel Energy regional manager for Community and Economic Development in Roswell claims that this purchase is beneficial for both the local community and New Mexico as a whole, stating: “The NextEara projects, like all other renewable energy developments, increase the value of rural land. In turn, the higher values generate more long-term tax revenue for local governments…”