Next time someone sees something shiny gleaming the desert sunlight near Roswell, N.M., it might not be an alien spaceship or experimental vehicle on Area 51. It’s more likely it will be one of the solar arrays being built in the region by Green States Energy.
The company has at least two projects in the region underway, GSE NM-1 and GSE NM-2. The first consists of 2.9 megawatts of arrays on 16 sites in and around Roswell and Dexter, N.M. The latter is a larger, 2.5 megawatt array in Roswell which will use U.S.-made Solectria Renewables inverters. The latter is being built this year and is one of the larger arrays in New Mexico at this point. Both projects are under contract to provide electricity to Xcel Energy.
The largest solar array in the state is likely the 30-megawatt Cimarron Solar Facility owned by Ted Turner and Southern Co. But the state’s largest PV facility under construction, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, is a 300 megawatt plant being developed by Spanish company Gestamp Solar and will dwarf all the other installations in the state.
“This installation will be one of the largest in New Mexico and provide power to the surrounding communities. As part of a retail program, power from our projects are used right in the local community we are proud to be a part of,” said Stephen Clevett, CEO of Green States Energy. The company is an independent power producer that acquires, develops, and operates clean energy facilities in the Americas and Europe. It currently owns nine operating PV power plants in the U.S. that have a capacity of more than 8 megawatts and has 2.5 more megawatts under construction. It’s project pipeline is much larger at more than 100 megawatts and includes solar, biomass, and cogeneration/CHP projects.
The new project will use Solectria’s PVI 95KW line of central inverters. “We evaluated many inverter manufacturers for this project. Solectria Renewables’ central inverters proved to be the most robust, reliable and efficient.”
Solar is just starting to take hold in New Mexico state. Earlier this year, for instance, the U.S. Army completed its largest array in the country, a 4.1 megawatt system at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. That system was also the world’s largest low-concentrating photovoltaic array when it was completed.