First Solar Inc. says the New Mexico Public Regulatory Commission has granted a power purchase agreement (PPA) that will enable the company to begin construction of a 50 MW solar power plant at Macho Springs on state trust land.
First Solar has submitted its final development plan, which provides a site plan and specific mitigation plans and strategies, and is obtaining various construction permits. Once approved, construction is expected to begin in July.
The company says El Paso Electric Co. will purchase the entire output power from the Macho Springs project. First Solar says it also has an interconnection agreement with El Paso Electric.
‘This 50 megawatt solar power project will provide about 300 jobs during the construction phase, which is a huge boost to New Mexico's ailing construction industry, and it will provide a constant stream of revenue for our public schools, universities and hospitals,’ says State Land Commissioner Ray Powell. ‘This project will provide clean, efficient solar power to El Paso Electric service territory customers, and the lease payments could generate as much as $40 million for state land trust beneficiaries over the 40-year term of the lease.’