North America’s largest solar energy services provider, SunEdison,and Xcel Energy’s regional operating company, Southwestern PublicService Company, today announced a dealfor five photovoltaic (PV) solar installations in New Mexico. Togetherthe installations will total 50 megawatts (mWs) of solar generationcapacity — enough to power more than 10,000 homes. To be sited in Leaand Eddy counties in southeastern New Mexico, the five 10 mWutility-scale installations should be fully operational by the end of2011.
“We are thrilled to begin harvesting New Mexico’s rich solarresources, and we are equally proud to add this project to our growingbase of wind energy, as we diversify our renewable energy portfolio,”stated Riley Hill, president and CEO of Southwestern Public ServiceCompany, an Xcel Energy company. “We are also pleased to be workingwith SunEdison, a leader in solar development with the experience andfinancial strength to ensure a smooth project completion.”
As an investor-owned utility, Xcel Energy is obligated to meet NewMexico’s renewable portfolio standard, which requires regulatedutilities to by 2015 source at least 15 percent of their electricityfrom renewable resources. By 2020, that figure is set to rise to 20percent. The deal with SunEdison, a subsidiary of MEMC, will enableXcel to continue to meet its renewable-energy requirements.
The corporate press release highlights the following features of the announced deal:
- The projects will power more than 10,000 homes in the first full year of operation, producing 110 million kilowatt-hours (kWhs)
- Over a 20-year life span, the installations will produce over twobillion kWhs of clean solar energy — enough to power over 187,000 homesfor an entire year
- The projects will, also over a 20-year period, offset more than 1.3million metric tons of carbon-dioxide, the equivalent of taking almost300,000 cars off the road for one year