Green States Energy picks Roswell for solar project

April 9, 2013 • Local News

An independent power producer plans to build one of New Mexico’s largest solar power complexes, a 2.5-megawatt array, in Roswell later this year to provide electricity to Xcel Energy.

Green States Energy Inc. acquired a 5.4-megawatt solar photovoltaic project portfolio in the state located in and around the city, the company announced recently.

“This is a major step forward for our company and its shareholders,” said Green States Energy CEO Stephen Clevett. “Roswell is a spectacular setting for solar power plants given the near constant, consistent sunshine. We look forward to being part of this fine community for years to come.”

The first phase of the Roswell project consisted of building 16 smaller sites constructed by Hunt Electric Corp. in and around Roswell and Dexter.

The second phase will be a 2.5-megawatt facility to be constructed by S&C Electric Co.

Several calls seeking details about the plan were not returned by the company’s [auth] Chief Financial Officer Joseph Duey, Tuesday.

Green States Energy, incorporated in 2010 with headquarters in New Jersey, acquires, develops and operates clean electric generating plants in the Americas and Europe. The company owns 35 operating solar power plants in the U.S. with 25 under construction.

When finished, the total project will provide a combined 5.4 megawatts of electricity that will increase the company’s annual, contracted revenues to an estimated $5 million, according to a statement issued by Duey.

The electricity sold to Xcel Energy falls under its Solar Rewards program that requires Xcel to purchase 15 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2015, according to Xcel’s spokesman Wes Reeves.

“As part of that requirement, we also are obligated to diversify our renewable resources with solar,” Reeves said. “This project will help us meet the standard, and better yet, will further enhance Roswell’s reputation as a renewable energy leader in New Mexico.”

The system is expected to provide more than 9 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year to the community — enough to power 780 homes.

The company estimates the carbon dioxide emissions saved over the lifetime of the system will be 226,125 tons, and sulfur dioxide emissions saved will be 994 tons.

Green States Energy’s Roswell project was funded by a combination of equity capital, debt and federal American Recovery and Reinvestment cash grant proceeds—federal funds that should partially pay for Green States Energy’s cost of installing specified energy property used in a trade or business or for the production of income.

The payment is made after the project is put into service. However, recent federal budget cuts following the sequestration may reduce the amount the company will be reimbursed by nearly 9 percent.

“Our mission is to be a premier provider of clean energy, specializing in community-based generation projects,” Duey said.

Solectria Renewables will provide the 20 photovoltaic inverters to produce power at the Roswell site. The Massachusetts-based manufacturer is one of the leading U.S. photovoltaic inverter manufacturers.

“This installation will be one of the largest in New Mexico and provide power to the surrounding communities,” Clevett said. “Solectria Renewables’ central inverters proved to be the most robust, reliable and efficient.”

A Solectria company representative said Tuesday the installation will provide efficient, reliable and cost-efficient large, box-type converters of power. The installation isn’t the largest or the first for the company.

Solar installations are quickly taking hold across New Mexico. In January, White Sands Missile Range dedicated a 4.1-megawatt system, the world’s largest low-concentrating photovoltaic array and the U.S. Army’s largest solar photovoltaic system.

The White Sands system is expected to provide an estimated annual savings of $930,000 and 10 million kilowatt-hours of clean electricity annually.

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