The United States Air Force and El Paso Electric (EPE) announced this week that construction has begun on a new 5-megawatt solar facility to serve Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico. Construction is being led by the German engineering company M+W Group, which recently finished a solar facility for EPE in El Paso.
The new solar facility will be located within the Air Force Base on a 42-acre site, according to the project participants. M+W Group will install almost 56,000 thin-film modules at the facility. “With the addition of this solar facility, EPE will increase its utility-scale renewable energy solar resources to a total of 115 megawatts,” according to the announcement.
“This project will reduce annual CO2 emissions by over 9,000 US tons, the equivalent of taking 2,000 cars off the road,” the joint US Air Force and EPE announcement says. In addition, the project is expected to save around 9 million gallons of water annually.
The US Air Force will pay the cost of construction, while EPE will be responsible for operating and maintaining the facility, as well as selling power to the base, Vic Kolenc reported in the El Paso Times.
Last November, when the solar facility was first announced, the cost was estimated to be around $13 million. At the time, an El Paso Electric spokesman told the Albuquerque Journal that, according to the project contract, the Air Force Base is aiming to get 25% of their energy from renewable energy sources by 2025.
This solar plant is EPE’s first renewable energy project built to serve a military installation, according to the public utility company. The partners expect that the Holloman Air Force Base solar facility will be operational in the third quarter of 2018.
Vendors mentioned above:
- M+W Group