NEW MEXICO PUBLIC REGULATION COMMISSION FROM THE OFFICE OF DISTRICT 2 COMMISSIONER PATRICK LYONS
PRESS CONTACT » CARLOS PADILLA » 505-827-4446 » CARLOS.PADILLA2@STATE.NM.US FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE NOVEMBER 30, 2015 NEWS RELEASE
Commissioner Lyons Helps Break Ground at Largest Solar Farm in NM
SANTA FE – New Mexico Public Regulation Commissioner Patrick Lyons and several other dignitaries took part in a groundbreaking for the upcoming installation of the largest solar farm in New Mexico, located in Chaves County.
NextEra Energy Resources is developing three solar energy projects near the city of Roswell, known collectively as the Alien City Solar Project. The project is supported by an Industrial Revenue Bond issued by Chaves County and the Roswell Independent School District.
If fully developed, the three projects would generate up to 170 MW at peak, and produce nearly 500,000 MWh/year. That’s enough to power about 60,000 homes.
The project includes the development of up to 1,300 acres of private land from eight landowners. The projects would use solar photovoltaic panels with single-axis tracking technology to follow the sun daily from east to west to increase energy production.
Xcel Energy, with approval from the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, has contracted to be a customer for 140MW of the power production from this facility for economic reasons, which will lower rates for consumers.
These projects would generate clean energy and would provide hundreds of construction jobs starting in late 2015 through the end of 2016, as well as ongoing revenue to the local communities through the deployment of up to $300 million in capital investment. Several full time maintenance positions will continue after 2016. A Golden Shovel Groundbreaking Event was held on the afternoon of November 19 for the Alien City Solar Project, which has a proposed commercial operation by December 31, 2016.
“This solar project represents a very low cost of electricity to Southwest Power Supply customers,” stated Commissioner Lyons. “I wish this project could be included in the Renewable Portfolio Standards to meet the Legislative mandate of 20 percent renewable energy by 2020.”