Kit Carson Electric Cooperative to Hit Goal of 100% Daytime Solar Power with Opening of Taos Mesa Solar Array
Kit Carson Electric Cooperative (KCEC) and Guzman Energy today celebrated the cooperative's achievement of providing 100% of its daytime power with solar energy this summer. Integral to this milestone, construction has been completed on KCEC's Taos Mesa Solar Array. The completed array has testing underway as it nears ongoing generation and delivery of 15 MW of solar power, which will be capable of powering approximately 7,500 homes with locally generated renewable energy.
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Representatives from Kit Carson Electric Cooperative and Guzman Energy are joined by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and other local dignitaries to officially open the Taos Mesa Solar Array (Photo: Business Wire)
At a ribbon-cutting event today, KCEC marked the official construction completion and testing of the Taos Mesa Solar Array, which is located roughly nine miles northwest of the Town of Taos. The project spans roughly 170 acres, has 43,680 solar panels and is part of KCEC's overall solar energy footprint totaling 41 MW of distributed solar throughout its service territory plus 15 MW of accompanying battery storage.
"When we partnered with Guzman Energy in 2016, we set an ambitious goal of becoming one of the cleanest energy cooperatives in America," said Luis A. Reyes, Jr., CEO of KCEC. "Providing our members with 100% daytime solar power, delivered by locally built and maintained solar arrays and battery storage while also reducing cost for our members is an accomplishment we are incredibly proud of. We are serving our members the clean power they've been asking for while lowering costs, and we're also helping to meet our state's overall climate change action initiatives."
The state of New Mexico has set an objective to achieve a statewide reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 45% by the year 2030. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham attended today's event, noting that KCEC is leading the way for other cooperatives around the state and the country in driving the energy transition.
Guzman Energy has been the wholesale power provider to KCEC since 2016, when the coop exited its contract with Tri-State Generation and Transmission in order to provide the coop with more control over its energy mix and give its members more cost-effective and rate-stable local energy. KCEC will complete repayment of its exit fee from Tri-State by the end of June 2022 while reaching its goals for cleaner and lower cost power. Coop members will see a decrease in their electric bills through the fuel adjustment line item and will realize savings of up to 25%.
"What Kit Carson Electric Cooperative has achieved here today is a phenomenal example of how rural cooperatives can make a significant impact locally for communities as well as globally on climate change," said Jeffrey M. Heit, Principal and Managing Director, Guzman Energy. "Guzman Energy is proud to be KCEC's partner delivering a blueprint for energy transition to cooperatives across America."
About Kit CarsonElectric Cooperative
Formed in 1944, Kit Carson is a member owned electric distribution cooperative in northern New Mexico and is the second largest cooperative in the state. Kit Carson is one of 16 electric cooperatives that serve rural New Mexico communities, serving nearly 30,000 members in Taos, Colfax and Rio Arriba counties. To learn more about Kit Carson, visit www.kitcarson.com.
About Guzman Energy
Guzman Energy is a wholesale power provider dedicated to communities in search of affordable and reliable energy. We partner with cooperatives, municipalities, companies, and tribes across North America to customize energy portfolios that make economic and environmental sense for today and tomorrow. Together, we are lighting the way forward. Visit www.guzmanenergy.com.
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