Los Alamos County Adds Solar, Battery Storage - Smart Energy Decisions

Distributed Generation, Solar, Sourcing Renewables  -  March 4, 2024

Los Alamos County Adds Solar, Battery Storage

The Los Alamos County Council unanimously approved the Foxtail Flats Solar and Storage agreements for 170 MW of solar power from the Four Corners Area and 80 MW of battery storage.

The agreements were made between Los Alamos County and Foxtail Flats Solar, LLC and between Los Alamos County and Foxtail Flats Storage, LLC, according to an announcement

Over the next two years, Foxtail Flats will build the solar facility and battery storage system northwest of Farmington.

The Foxtail Flats battery stores up to 320 MWh of energy for discharge during periods of peak power costs and requires an average of 40 MW of solar capacity or eight hours for charging from the solar array. This 40 MW is a portion of the total solar production allowed in the contract. 

The 170 MW solar array is well suited to meet the LAPP energy needs, charge the battery, and cover the third-party sales contracts for excess power. 

DPU will still need to make power purchases, but the battery will allow power schedulers to reduce the amount purchased, especially when nighttime market costs are high.

The advantages of the project include the following:

  • Increase in carbon-free, or renewable, electricity load, 
  • Allows flexibility for load growth as electrification efforts increase,
  • Replaces 36 MW that was lost with the closing of the San Juan Generating Station,
  • Replaces 8 MW of power expected as a long-term resource that the  Carbon Free Power Project (CFPP) would have provided,
  • Power load is more reliable year-round than the seasonal run-of-the-river generation at the County’s two hydroelectric plants, and
  • Costs less than last year’s fossil fuel energy from coal and natural gas plan.

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