Solar - February 17, 2021
New Mexico State University begins work on 3 MW solar installation
New Mexico State University announced Feb. 15 that construction has begun on a 3 MW solar project that will generate enough power to cover a third of the university’s electricity needs by this fall.
The project will be owned, operated, maintained and developed by El Paso Electric (EPE), which the university first signed a memorandum of understanding with for the project back in 2018. The solar array, dubbed “Aggie Power,” will be installed on 29 acres of NMSU’s Arrowhead Park campus and will include a 1 MW Tesla battery pack.
“NMSU is excited to develop strategic partnerships across our entire system to support a balanced and sustainable energy economy,” NMSU Chancellor Dan Arvizu said in a statement. “This partnership with EPE moves us forward in a leadership role and is a perfect example of our ability to balance investments in infrastructure while providing a state-of-the-art living laboratory to complement our educational programs.”
EPE first received approval for the project from the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission in August 2020, while construction began in mid-December. This will be the largest clean energy generated on the university’s campus once completed; NMSU previously installed several smaller solar projects throughout the Las Cruces campus.
Electrical engineering students at NMSU will have the opportunities to use the facility for research and training as part of their curriculum. Additionally, the university expects to see energy cost savings by regulating power for times of peak demand while relying less on power from conventional natural gas-powered energy.