A company that has been developing solar array projects across the country has announced plans to build a 372-megawatt facility near the San Juan Generating Station.
The Lehi, Utah-based Photosol US says it wants to build what could be a $680 million project encompassing more than 2,000 acres of solar panels.
Although a construction schedule for the project has not yet been announced, the company is working with the federal Bureau of Land Management in the hope of securing a variance to proceed with the project.
What is being called Shiprock Solar comes as a report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, based in Lakewood, Ohio, contends that the full potential for solar projects on leased federal lands has not been realized.
That report, Federal Land Agency Lags on Solar Development Approval Across Southwest U.S., contends that current BLM policies regarding such projects are outdated, adding at the same time that current solar markets “are primed for more activity.”
Photosol US officials say they are particularly interested in the Land of Enchantment because the state last year passed the Energy Transition Act. That measure mandates that all of New Mexico must be carbon free by the year 2050.
If built, the Shiprock Solar facility could provide power to entities from utility companies to large corporations and municipalities.
Besides needing BLM approval for a land variance, the proposed project must also undergo an environmental review as required by the National Environmental Policy Act.
By Garry Boulard
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