New Mexico electric co-op adds enough solar PV to generate 100% of daytime energy from the sun
Kit Carson Electric Cooperative (KCEC) and Guzman Energy celebrated the completion of the 15-MW Taos Mesa Solar Array on June 3. The array will be able to power approximately 7,500 homes with locally generated renewable energy.
In a ribbon-cutting event, KCEC marked the official completion of construction and testing on the project, which is located approximately nine miles northwest of Taos city. The project covers approximately 170 acres, has 43,680 solar panels and is part of KCEC’s total solar footprint of a total of 41 MW of distributed solar power across the service area plus 15 MW of associated battery storage. With the addition of the Taos array, the electric cooperative expects to provide customers with 100% daytime solar power this summer.
“When we partnered with Guzman Energy in 2016, we set an ambitious goal to become one of the cleanest energy cooperatives in America,” said Luis A. Reyes, Jr., CEO of KCEC. “Providing our members with 100% daytime solar power, provided by locally built and maintained solar panels and battery storage, while also reducing costs for our members, is an achievement we are incredibly proud of. We’re providing our members with the clean power they’ve asked for, while reducing costs, and we’re also helping to meet our state’s global action initiatives on climate change.”
The state of New Mexico has set a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions statewide by 45% by 2030. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham lived the ribbon, noting that KCEC is leading other cooperatives in the state and country in driving the energy transition.
Guzman Energy has been the wholesale supplier of power to KCEC since 2016, when the co-op terminated its contract with Tri-State Generation and Transmission to give the co-op more control over its energy mix and increase costs for its members. effective and stable local energy. KCEC will complete the refund of its Tri-State exit fee by the end of June 2022, while meeting its goals for cleaner and cheaper energy. Co-op members will see their electric bills drop through the fuel customization line item and will realize savings of up to 25%.
“What Kit Carson Electric Cooperative has accomplished here today is a phenomenal example of how rural cooperatives can have a significant impact on climate change both locally and globally,” said Jeffrey M. Heit, director and general manager of Guzman Energy. “Guzman Energy is proud to be the partner of KCEC providing an energy transition blueprint for cooperatives across America.”
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