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New Solar Array Dedicated in New Mexico

Post Time:Apr 12,2012Classify:Industry NewsView:345


With the addition of a new 1.5 megawatt (MW) solar array, anticipated to be completed in May 2012, all businesses and residences in north central New Mexico will receive electricity provided by solar power on sunny days. It is the largest area of land with the largest number of power consumers in New Mexico to be supplied with electricity by renewable sources, according to a news release. The 14-acre array will add to power already being generated from the concentrated photovoltaic 1 MW array built near Questa, N.M.


“This project represents a unique collaboration between entities that, while very different, have common goals,” says Luis Reyes, CEO of Kit Carson Electric Cooperative (KCEC) . “In addition, this array is helping create local jobs as well as provide energy independence by generating enough electricity to power 376 average New Mexico homes for an entire year.”


The new array, dubbed RCCLA Amalia Solar Array 1, was dedicated during a ceremony at the site located in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Federal, state and local elected officials, including Congressman Ben Ray Lujan, joined the board of KCEC and visiting dignitaries for the ceremony.


“We are pleased to invest in this significant solar project as it supports our mission to own and operate renewable energy assets for the betterment of our environment and advancing our country’s energy independence,” says Sanjiv Mahan, vice president of business development for Washington Gas Energy Systems. “We thank the Rio Costilla Cooperative Livestock Association (RCCLA and) the Kit Carson Electric Cooperative for partnering with us in this effort and look forward to being a part of additional solar projects here in New Mexico.”


The project came about through the combined efforts of: the RCCLA, a group of ranchers with a heritage that goes back hundreds of years in this remote region, and who allowed the array to be built on their land; KCEC, a member-owned corporation supplying electricity to the region since 1944, and is currently ranked second in the nation in solar watts per consumer; Virginia-based Washington Gas Energy Systems who will own and operate the system; and Standard Solar of Rockville, Md., which installed the system with project management by Paradise Power Co. of Taos, N.M., and support from Amalia Construction Co.


“Today’s dedication event signifies a considerable milestone in bringing renewable energy to northern Taos County,” says Scott Wiater, president of Standard Solar. “We applaud the collaborative effort of all those involved and look forward to the not too distant future when all KCEC customers will have the opportunity to reap the benefits of solar energy.”


The  1.5 MW-DC single–axis tracking solar system consists of 5,280 solar panels. At full capacity, it will produce approximately 1.25 MW of AC power, with an expected annual output of more than 2.9 million kilowatt hours. When completed, the solar array will cover more than 15.5 football fields and the carbon offsets will be equivalent to planting 221 acres of forest, according to the release.


Source: http://www.solarglazingmag.comAuthor: shangyi

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