El Paso Electric will add planned 100-MW solar project to its grid

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Hecate Energy’s proposed 100-MW Santa Teresa solar project has been selected by El Paso Electric Company (EPE) as part of a 350-MW solar and storage Request for Proposals (RFP) process designed to add new clean resources to the utility’s system. Pending necessary regulatory approvals, the project — to be constructed in Santa Teresa, New Mexico — is anticipated to be in service by May 2022.

EPE and Hecate have entered into a long-term purchase power agreement for the output from the project. The added generation resources will help EPE meet the 2022-2023 summer peak season and replace less efficient gas-fired generation as older units are retired.

“We are very pleased to be working with El Paso Electric to supply clean, emission-free electricity to power the increasingly electrified lives of EPE customers for decades to come,” said Alex Pugh, Hecate’s Manager of Development. “This project is notable both for its significant scale and for how it is pressing the limits on how economically we can deliver solar power.”

Santa Teresa solar is projected to supply enough electricity to power approximately 40,000 homes with emission-free electricity.

“Over the last year, we have continued seeing growth in our customer base by approximately 7,000. Additionally, because of falling renewable energy prices, and changing customer expectations on how they receive their energy, we are able to offer more sustainable solutions. Today’s announcement further underscores our responsibility to both increase and enhance our power generation capability while simultaneously meeting our regional customers changing needs in a safe, clean, reliable, and cost-effective manner,” said Adrian J. Rodriguez, interim CEO at EPE.

EPE was recently the first utility in Texas and New Mexico to go 100% coal-free. EPE’s choice to divest from the coal-fired generating plant, Four Corners Generating Station. This was done along with a promise to increase its investment in utility-scale solar.

“Hecate is fortunate to work with many leading North American utilities deploying thousands of megawatts of next-generation, carbon-free solar power, and in our experience, EPE is a top tier utility. EPE made their customers a promise to deliver more clean, renewable energy and this project represents them keeping it,” Pugh said.

News item from Hecate Energy

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