Every hour, the sun beams onto Earth more than enough energy to satisfy global needs for an entire year.
Solar energy, however, produces less than one tenth of one percent of global energy demand. With global efforts now focusing on producing cleaner forms of energy without leaving such a large carbon footprint on the Earth, many companies are now “going green.” and developing alternative sources of energy for renewal.
In August of 2011, PNM (formerly known as Public Service Company of New Mexico) constructed Deming and Luna County’s first solar energy center with 78,000 solar panels. The project is part of a PNM initiative for a $180 million dollar commitment in helping New Mexico become the largest renewable energy providers.
PNM added an additional 60,000 new panels to the Columbus Highway solar farm. Luna County saw the creation of 75 additional jobs during the installation of the new panels and a much needed $59,000 in tax revenue for Luna County next year.
PNM invites the public to attend its’ ribbon-cutting ceremony on the expansion of the solar farm at noon today at 65 Coyote Road, SW, located south of Deming. A beef brisket lunch will be served.
With the addition of the new panels the center can now produce the amount of energy used to power 4,800 average homes in Luna County.
The panels were produced by First Solar of Tempe, Arizona — a large producer of solar panels. The company’s solar panels have been installed at sites throughout the world. Construction took two months to install the new solar panels that are ground mounted and rise to a height of four to six feet on a slant.
The five mega-watt facility began producing power in August of 2011 and is currently the largest solar facility in Luna County. The annual carbon reduction with the 78,000 solar panels currently being used is 10 million pounds, or equivalent to removing 1,000 cars off the road.
Expected to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony are Luna County Commissioners Jay Spivey and Javier Diaz, and Luna County Manager Kelly Kuenstler. PNM Senior Vice President of Public Policy, Ron Darnell; and PNM Community Manager Bruce Ashburn are also expected to cut the ribbon today.
PNM’s commitment to its’ renewable energy efforts will include eight solar center going on online or nearing completion by year’s end and three new solar center for next year.
PNM has had wind energy on its system since 2003 and proposes to add more in 2015. Next year, PNM customers will get their first geothermal energy from a plant being developed south of Lordsburg, New Mexico.
Learn more about PNM solar energy initiatives at PNM.com/solar