The Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association has entered into an agreement with Tempe, Ariz.-based First Solar Inc. to develop a 30 MW AC, 500,000-panel solar photovoltaic power plant in northeastern New Mexico. The Cimarron I Solar Project is the largest photovoltaic project by an electric cooperative and among the largest facilities of its kind in the world, Tri-State says.
A workforce of 120 to 140 construction personnel will be required during construction of the facility, which is scheduled to commence by April 2010, with the first portion of the system producing energy by August. The facility is scheduled to be fully operational by the end of 2010.
The project will be located on a 250-acre parcel of land in Colfax County, located between the towns of Cimarron and Springer, N.M., within the service territory of Springer Electric Cooperative, one of Tri-State's 12 New Mexico member co-ops.
The solar field will consist of approximately 500,000 2' x 4' photovoltaic modules constructed with First Solar's patented thin-film semiconductor technology. First Solar will act as the engineering, procurement and construction contractor and will monitor and maintain the facility. Tri-State has contracted to purchase the electricity output from the facility for a 25-year period. Financial and operational terms of the agreement are confidential.
SOURCE: Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association