New Mexico’s Kit Carson Electric Cooperative brings 3-MW solar plant online

New Mexico

Northern New Mexico’s Kit Carson Electric Cooperative (KCEC) is on a mission to achieve 100 percent daytime solar energy, bringing online its largest solar array to date last week. The Taos array will deliver 3 MW of solar energy – enough to power approximately 1,500 to 1,600 families in Kit Carson’s member base.

Located near the Town of Taos Water Treatment Plant, the Taos array consists of more than 12,000 solar panels and will serve KCEC’s largest substation and member base. The opening of this array helps KCEC come even closer to reaching its goal of powering its members with 100% solar energy during the day by 2022.

The Taos array marks KCEC’s 17th live solar array and brings a total of 19.8 MW of solar power to local homes and businesses.

“The construction of solar arrays in our communities has been a great economic development venture while giving our members the choice of renewable energy that our community has wanted for years,” said Luis Reyes Jr., CEO of KCEC. “With every panel installation and every array coming online, we are getting that much closer to our renewable energy goals, thanks to our great partnerships with Guzman Energy and the Town of Taos.”

Local developer ParaSol constructed the array with the use of all local labor. Construction began in of the Taos array began in October 2019, and was financed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS), which supports rural communities with infrastructure improvements.

The array is part of KCEC’s partnership with Guzman Energy, a wholesale power provider that develops customized energy solutions to meet the goals of its customers. KCEC partnered with Guzman in 2016 to help the co-op meet its renewable energy goals as well as drive down its overall power costs. With three more arrays in development, KCEC will have a total of 53 MW of renewable energy capacity, to include both solar energy and storage.

“Kit Carson Electric Cooperative is extremely forward-thinking, and the continued realization of its plans and goals is setting an example for rural communities around the country,” said Chris Miller, President, Guzman Energy. “They are proof that co-ops can provide renewable energy sources, lower energy costs for members, and bolster the local economy at the same time.”

— Solar Builder magazine


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