Kit Carson Electric Cooperative (KCEC) is breaking ground on three new solar arrays in its service territory. This development is part of the co-op’s ongoing effort of achieving 100% daytime solar energy by 2022. The new PV arrays will add six additional megawatts of distributed energy resources into KCEC’s renewable portfolio. All three renewable projects are expected to be completed by the end of the year, allowing KCEC to reach 50% of its daytime solar energy goals.
KCEC has a goal of complete transition to carbon-free electric sources. In the spring, the co-op issued a Request for Proposals to add 7 MW of solar capacity by the end of 2020. Electric cooperatives are uniquely positioned to adopt solar if members are in favor.
In 2016, KCEC entered into an innovative and transformative partnership with Guzman Energy. As a result of this partnership, KCEC will soon have among the lowest wholesale rates in the region. The multi-year agreement between KCEC and Guzman Energy is expected to result in a cost savings of up to $70 million and allows the co-op flexibility to select the energy sources that provide the best cost and environmental benefit to their communities.
“Kit Carson is continuing to meet our commitment to our members for a more affordable, reliable, renewable and resilient future,” said Luis Reyes Jr., CEO of KCEC. “These projects will push the co-op to 50% renewables on our system, while integrating the inclusion and partnership of all of our members. We are very pleased with our partnership with Guzman and its commitment to renewable energy, as well as its partnership with our community.”
As part of this new phase of development, KCEC and its solar developer Syncarpha Capital began construction on a 1.5-MW array in Sunshine, New Mexico. The second site is a 1.5-MW solar array at the Northern New Mexico College in El Rito, and the remaining site is a 3-MW solar array located at the Taos Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant in Taos.
Based on KCEC’s average residential power consumption, these three arrays will power approximately 3,400 homes. Phase 2 of the project is expected to bring in $6.6 million of economic development and associated money back into local communities. This project will also turn a brownfield site into usable land.
News item from Kit Carson Electric Cooperative