First Solar has announced an agreement with Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) to construct three solar power plants totaling 23 megawatts (MW)AC of generating capacity. Under the agreement, First Solar is expected to provide engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services, using its advanced thin-film photovoltaic (PV) modules. PNM is the largest electrical provider in New Mexico.
Contingent on approval from the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, which PNM filed for earlier this month, the agreement establishes terms for the plants' EPC work. The projects are part of PNM's 2014 portfolio of renewable energy resources. These new projects are in addition to five plants completed in 2011 and an additional 21.5 megawatts of solar PV to be completed this year; all totaling 67MWAC that First Solar has contracted or is expected to construct with PNM by the end of 2014.
The three projects, once approved, are expected to begin construction and be completed in 2014. Up to 300 local construction jobs are expected at peak.
"We are very pleased to be working with PNM on these new projects," said Dana Diller, First Solar's Vice President of U.S. Business Development. "PNM and the State of New Mexico continue to make great strides in meeting their renewable energy goals, and First Solar is excited to play a significant role in that effort."
The solar plants in aggregate will generate enough clean energy to power up to 8,960 average New Mexico homes, displacing about 25,300 metric tons of CO2 annually— the equivalent of taking some 5,270 cars off the road, and displacing up to 14.5 million gallons of water consumption annually.