News Release

Mar. 24, 2015
PNM gains approval from Santa Fe County to move forward with two solar energy centers

Santa Fe, N.M.: Santa Fe County Commissioners today approved two separate PNM zoning applications to build two new solar energy centers located in Santa Fe County and valued at a total of $30 million. The two centers will use state of the art tracking technology to maximize the production of electricity.

The proposed solar panels are single-axis tracking panels that will be configured together in long rows oriented north-south. Each row of panels will rotate together, making adjustments to the position as the panels move to track the sun east to west.

The Santa Fe County Solar Energy Center, which PNM plans to construct in 2015, will add nearly 10 megawatts of solar capacity. It is located south of the National Guard site off of I-25's east frontage road. PNM will invest $19 million in this project. It could have as many as 40,000 panels that could generate 27,360 megawatt-hours a year, the equivalent of the energy used by about 4,000 average residential customers. It would provide approximately $165,000 in taxes to Santa Fe County and short term construction jobs.

The Caja del Rio Solar Energy Center application is for a 5-megawatt solar energy center located north of NM-599 off of Caja Del Rio Road. When developed, PNM would invest as much as $11 million in this project. The site could host a facility that has as many as 20,000 panels that could generate 13,680 megawatt-hours a year, the equivalent of the energy used by about 2,000 average residential customers. It would provide approximately $96,000 in taxes to Santa Fe County and short term construction jobs.

"PNM is working to build a strong energy future for New Mexico while balancing reliability, affordability, and environmental protection," said Ron Darnell, Senior Vice President of Public Policy, PNM. "The approval of these solar centers is an important step forward as we continue to build a cleaner, more diverse resource portfolio, including renewable energy, to responsibly meet the needs of our customers in the communities we serve."

By the end of 2015, PNM will have invested $270 million on solar power in New Mexico and will have more than one million solar panels providing clean energy for our state. 

With headquarters in Albuquerque, PNM is the largest electricity provider in New Mexico, serving more than 500,000 customers in dozens of communities across the state. PNM is a subsidiary of PNM Resources, an energy holding company also headquartered in Albuquerque. For more information, visit PNM.com.