Central New Mexico Community College Completes Solar Installation - Smart Energy Decisions

GHG Emissions, Solar, Sourcing Renewables  -  July 9, 2021

Central New Mexico Community College Completes Solar Installation

Central New Mexico Community College (CNM) announced on July 6 that it has completed a 1.3-megawatt solar farm at its Westside Campus. The project includes the largest energy storage system in the PNM electrical utility service area and a state-of-the-art training lab for CNM students. On average, the energy captured will provide approximately 50% of the electricity needed to power the campus buildings, thereby also cutting CO2 emissions. 

“We are excited about the advancement that this project provides towards our goals in environmental sustainability, operational efficiency, and academics,” CNM Sustainability Project Manager Molly Blumhoefer said in a statement from the college. “We hope that it inspires our students and the community.”

The main system is a single-axis array with 3,000 solar modules situated over 8.6 acres. The energy storage system consists of five, 100-kW lithium-ion battery packs for a total of 500kW of energy storage. The packs will kick on during times of our highest electricity demand, which will help CNM cut operational costs. Reducing our demand during this time may also allow the electrical utility to reallocate this energy to other customers.

The modules on the training lab will be used for demonstrations and allow CNM students to practice dismantling and reconstructing the system. Students will have options to follow residential and small commercial or commercial and industrial systems courses.  

Affordable Solar (ASI) and Array Technologies commissioned the tracking equipment and will continue to provide training to students in the PV program.

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