New Mexico Gets Giant Solar Plant

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NRG Energy, a New Jersey power plant developer and operator, announced it plans to begin construction this year on a 92 MW solar plant in New Mexico. El Paso Electric will purchase the electricity.

The solar plant, which will supply electricity for 30,000 homes, will be the third largest in the US. 

390,000 computer-controlled mirrors (heliostats) on 450 acres will direct sunlight onto 32 water towers to generate steam, which in turn, powers electricity generators. 

A 5 MW pilot project near Los Angeles has been using the technology successfully since July. eSolar, which developed the pilot, is providing the technology for NRG’s Texas plant.

The electricity from the plant will help El Paso Electric meet New Mexico RPS requirements of 10% renewables by 2011, and 20% by 2020.

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