Duke kicks off construction on 25-MW solar project in New Mexico

Duke Energy Renewables announced May 10 that construction has begun on the 25-MW Caprock Solar Power Project, located near Tucumcari in Quay County, New Mexico.

The company acquired the project, due to be completed later this year, from Infigen Energy. Power from the project will be sold to Western Farmers Electric Cooperative (WFEC) under a 25-year agreement. EPC contractor Swinerton Renewable Energy will build the solar project, which will consist of more than 103,000 solar panels manufactured by Jinko Solar.

“We are pleased to bring this solar project to New Mexico and add the state to our growing U.S. renewables footprint,” said Greg Wolf, president, Duke Energy Commercial Portfolio. “We’re also excited to be partnering with a progressive cooperative like WFEC, which reflects our commitment to provide clean energy solutions for utilities, cooperatives, municipalities, corporations and other organizations.”

Brian Hobbs, WFEC vice president of legal and corporate services, said that WFEC has been looking at solar energy for about 10 years. “The costs of installing solar have dramatically decreased in the past few years and are much closer to competing with more traditional forms of generation. Coupled with other benefits, such as no ongoing fuel costs and decreased emissions, we felt the timing was right to introduce solar into our generation mix.”

Duke Energy Renewables, part of Duke Energy‘s (NYSE: DUK) Commercial Portfolio, has a growing portfolio of commercial renewable assets that includes 18 wind farms and 43 solar farms in operation in 13 states, totaling about 2,500 MW in electric-generating capacity.

Western Farmers Electric Cooperative is a generation and transmission (G&T) cooperative that provides electric service to 21 member cooperatives and Altus Air Force Base. These members are located primarily in Oklahoma and New Mexico, with some service territories extending into portions of Texas and Kansas. It has six generating facilities, located at Mooreland, Anadarko and Hugo, Oklahoma, and Lovington, New Mexico.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.