Xcel, SunEdison start 54 MW PV project in New Mexico
(ADPnews) - Dec 16, 2010 - US utility Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL) and solar power company SunEdison yesterday broke ground on a 54 MW photovoltaic (PV) project to be rolled out on five sites in Lea and Eddy counties, New Mexico.
SunEdison, a unit of wafers maker MEMC Electronic Materials (NYSE:WFR), will build, finance and maintain the five installations under a 20-year power purchase deal with the utility.
The five-site deployment is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2011. The systems are estimated to ultimately generate over 112 million kWh of clean electricity in the first year of operation and 2 million MWh of electricity over 20 years, enough to power more than 192,000 households for one year.
The project is expected to help Xcel Energy to continue meeting New Mexico's renewable portfolio standard, which requires that regulated electric utilities meet 15% of their electricity needs by 2015, and 20% by 2020, through renewable energy sources, including solar technologies.
This 54 MW deployment eclipses the 8.22 MW direct current (DC) solar power system SunEdison constructed and activated for Xcel Energy in Alamosa, Colorado in December 2007.