The 30 megawatt Cimarron Solar Facility recently started commercial operations and is one of the largest utility scale solar power plant in the U.S. While New Mexico is not usually thought of as warm, it does have plentiful sunshine! The new solar PV plant generates electricity for about 9,000 homes.
The solar facility was developed by First Solar, which will operate and maintain the plant during the life of a contract. A partnership between Southern Company and Turner Renewable Energy owns Cimarron Solar Facility (purchased from First Solar) and will supply power to Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association (a not-for-profit wholesale power supplier to 44 electric cooperatives across Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming) pursuant to a power purchase agreement. It was actually finished ahead of schedule and started producing solar electricity in December 2010.
The 364-acre plant site includes 500,000 2′x 4′ advanced thin film photovoltaic modules manufactured by First Solar. The utility scale solar power plant is adjacent to Turner’s Vermejo Park Ranch, within the service territory of Tri-State member system Springer Electric Cooperative in Colfax County, N.M.
Ted Turner enthused:
“We are very excited to see this project completed and producing clean solar energy to power homes and businesses in New Mexico. Large-scale solar generation is among the fastest growing energy sources in the world, and we’re pleased that we can be a part of that growth.”
Speaking for solar power proponents, we are very excited to see the Cimarron Solar Facility operating in New Mexico!