Work could begin soon on the construction of a 100-megawatt solar plant designed to provide enough power for up to 40,000 residences in Dona Ana County.
The project is part of a purchased power agreement between El Paso Electric and the growing Chicago-based Hecate Energy.
The idea behind the desert project is to provide electricity at $14.99 per megawatt hour, making what is being called the Hecate Project the lowest-cost utility scale solar project in the country.
When plans for constructing the facility were initially announced late last year, Alex Pugh, development manager with Hecate, said the Santa Teresa project would be notable both for its “significant scale and for how it is pressing the limits on how economically we can deliver solar power.”
Now, members of New Mexico’s Public Regulation Commission have given their approval to the longterm purchased power agreement between El Paso Electric and Hecate.
The project is part of a larger quest on behalf of El Paso Electric to expand its renewable resources in an effort to comply with the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard. That standard requires that at least 20 percent of the utility company’s energy sales must come from renewable energy.
For its part, Hecate Energy, launched in 2012, is currently managing nearly two dozen energy projects around the world. Its projects in this country have been primarily centered on the East coast, as well as throughout Texas.
It is thought that work on the Santa Teresa Hecate Project will take less than two years, with a contemplated early 2022 completion date.
By Garry Boulard
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