First Solar will construct the facilities using its PV panels at five separate sites within PNM's service territory. The sites will be chosen based on cost, availability and suitability of land; the quality of a site's solar potential; environmental and permitting considerations; and level of local support, according to PNM and First Solar.
Construction on the first site is expected to start by 2011, or as soon as the Public Regulatory Commission approves PNM's plan. First Solar expects construction at all five sites to be completed by late 2011. The build-outs will create approximately 100 construction jobs. Once the plants are completed, PNM will own the sites as part of its generation portfolio.