Shortly after Gov. Susana Martinez announced that Facebook plans to use solar energy to help power the tech company’s data center now under development in New Mexico, Affordable Solar has provided some more details about the related solar project.
The New Mexico-based solar company explains that utility PNM has awarded Affordable Solar a $37 million contract for engineering, procurement and construction of three solar facilities totaling 30 MW for the Facebook Data Center in Los Lunas, N.M. Construction on the first of three 10 MW sites will begin in mid-2017, and the 30 MW project will total approximately 115,000 solar panels. Affordable Solar notes the new facilities will use ground-mounted single-axis trackers developed by New Mexico-based Array Technologies.
Kevin Bassalleck, president of Affordable Solar, says, “We’re honored to have been selected by PNM to design and construct the solar facilities that will power Facebook’s new data center in Los Lunas. It’s a continuation of the working relationship we’ve established with PNM over many years, and we’re grateful to have been provided this new opportunity as they deploy more utility-scale solar.”
According to Affordable Solar, PNM has already invested nearly $270 million in solar farms across the state in recent years, and the new sites will add to its renewable energy footprint.
“This project clearly demonstrates some of the best possible outcomes of an economic development project: supporting a local renewable energy business, creating local construction jobs and helping to grow our economy here in New Mexico,” says Pat Vincent-Collawn, chairman, president and CEO of PNM.
Bassalleck adds, “These projects will allow our company to open our doors to a new group of solar industry employees. As a result of this partnership, we’re excited to announce that in the coming months, Affordable Solar will be hiring over 40 new full-time employees, and each of the three solar projects will employ over 120 workers during the course of construction.”