El Paso Electric signs PPA with Element Power for 50MW solar plant in New Mexico

14 Nov 2012

US public utility company El Paso Electric has signed a power purchase agreement with renewable energy developer Element Power for the total output from a new 50MW solar photovoltaic (PV) plant that the latter is building in New Mexico.

Element Power’s Macho Springs solar PV plant is set to be built near Deming, New Mexico, on land leased from the New Mexico State Land Office.

The construction of the solar farm is expected to begin in 2013 for a completion date in 2014. It’s anticipated that the solar project will produce enough renewable energy to power around 18,000 homes.

Element Power has already built a wind farm in Macho Springs, with 28 wind turbines covering 2,000 acres of ranchland. The company has signed a 20-year power purchase agreement with Tuscon Electric Power to sell its output from the wind farm to the Arizona utility.

As for Ireland, Element Power has a base in Co Cork. In July, the company announced its plans to build around 40 wind farms in the midlands of Ireland after it was awarded a grid connection offer from the operator of the UK national grid, National Grid UK.

At the time, Element Power said the energy generated from the connected wind farms would be channelled to the UK via two sub-sea cables between Ireland and Wales.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic