SANTA TERESA, NM – A construction project that created 240 jobs in Santa Teresa culminated with an inauguration ceremony to mark the start of energy production from the state’s second-largest photovoltaic operation on October 7.
“The completion of the Roadrunner solar facility is a major milestone for the New Mexico border region,” said Economic Development Secretary-designate Jon Barela. “This builds on all the momentum taking place in the region due to the coming together of many entities, including the Border Industrial Association, Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance, NRG Energy, El Paso Electric and First Solar, for the economic development success of Santa Teresa and we are thrilled to have the Roadrunner solar project and this partnership here as a part of the community.”
NRG Energy, through its wholly owned subsidiary NRG Solar, completed construction recently on the Roadrunner Solar Generating Facility, which is one of the first large-scale solar projects built in New Mexico. Cost-competitive, renewable power generated by the facility will be sold to El Paso Electric under a 20-year power purchase agreement.
“This new project is a good example of an economic development opportunity that is characterized by high-technology and a renewable resource that is plentiful in southern New Mexico – sun,” said Jerry Pacheco, Vice-President, Border Industrial Association. “We congratulate NRG Energy, El Paso Electric and First Solar on this milestone and the door it opens to new possibilities for our region.”
The Roadrunner Solar Generating Facility is located on 210 acres near the Santa Teresa Port of Entry. Its 340,000 photovoltaic solar panels can produce up to 20 megawatts of electricity, which is enough power to supply 6,600 homes in El Paso Electric’s system.
The Roadrunner facility will use a single-axis tracking system, which pivots PV solar panels to follow the sun throughout the day, increasing electricity production compared with a fixed tilt installation. The panels were made by First Solar Inc., which built the Santa Teresa plant for NRG, and also has a contract to operate and maintain the facility.
NRG Solar started construction in December 2010.