Kit Carson hits its solar goal a year early


A recent deal made by Kit Carson Electric Cooperative will allow the electric co-op to reach its 2016 goal of meeting 100% of its daytime energy load entirely with solar generation a year early.

The deal finances 21 MW of solar capacity and 15 MW of energy storage. The capacity will be divided across two sites in Taos Mesa and Angel Fire, New Mexico, both towns in the northern part of the state.

When the projects are completed in late 2021 — six months ahead of their original schedules — the co-op will have achieved the 41 MW of solar and 15 MW of storage it needed to meet 100% of its daytime energy load entirely with solar.

Torch Clean Energy will develop the new solar and storage projects and sell the power to Kit Carson under a power-purchase agreement. The length of that agreement has not yet been released.

Kit Carson set set its goal after it began a partnership with Guzman Energy, a wholesale power provider. Kit Carson had secured its energy from Tri-State Generation & Transmission, but ended that business tie in 2016 in part because Tri-State was unable to transition rapidly enough from fossil fuels to renewable energy generation resources. The partnership with Guzman was designed to enable Kit Carson to meet its daytime solar goal and also cut its wholesale power costs by around 40%.

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