Solar Concentrating Power Plant To Be Built in Santa Teresa, New Mexico

Real Estate Agent with Realty Pro Albuquerque

According to the New Mexico Business Weekly, El Paso Electric has signed an agreement to buy all the electricity from a concentrating solar power plant to be built in southern New Mexico by NRG Energy Inc.

The plant, to be built on a 450-acre site in Sunland Park, about 10 miles from El Paso, will produce 92 megawatts of electricity. It will be   the first commercial-scale solar thermal project in New Mexico. It is hoped that the construction of the power plant will be completed by the summer of 2011.

Concentrating solar power plants use mirrors to reflect and concentrate sunlight onto receivers that convert it to heat. The heat can then be used to produce steam to drive a turbine and produce electricity.

This project will help realize renewable energy potential here. We have an average of 300 days of sun every year and this is an efficient way to harness that solar energy.

Lest anyone think that this is new or untried technology, here is an excerpt from a document published by the US DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Solar Energies Technologies Program:

Two large-scale power tower demonstration projects have been deployed in the United States. During its operation from 1982 to 1988, the 10-megawatt Solar One plant near Barstow, California, demonstrated the viability of power towers, producing more than 38 million kilowatt-hours of electricity.

The Solar Two plant was a retrofit of Solar One to demonstrate the advantages of molten salt for heat transfer and thermal storage. Using its highly efficient molten-salt energy storage system, Solar Two successfully demonstrated efficient collection of solar energy and dispatch of electricity. It also demonstrated the ability to routinely produce electricity during cloudy weather and at night. In one demonstration, Solar Two delivered power to the grid for 24 hours a day for almost seven consecutive days before cloudy weather interrupted operation.






Posted by

Mary Yonkers
Alan Kells School of Real Estate/Howard Hanna Real Estate - Erie, PA
Erie/PA Real Estate Instructor

Deb--I wish you could send some of your sunshine & warmth east to Erie, PA.  Being on the east side of the Great Lakes we have more paartly cloudy days than sunny.  Oh well, next week I plan to attend a seminar on wind power.  We do have wind, but not like the plains and west Texas where my brother lives. 

Jun 13, 2009 04:59 AM
Laura Warden Nordin
Century 21 Camco Realty - Albuquerque, NM
30-year Top Producer in Greater ABQ Real Estate

Hurry for green power! And NM is an obvious choice for solar, as we have so much sunshine!

Jun 19, 2009 12:54 PM