- El Paso Electric (EPE) has announced it is ready to meet the new EPA emissions regulations and, through the use of new natural gas and utility scale solar generation, expects to be 100% coal free by 2016.
- EPE added the 50 megawatt Macho Springs solar power plant in May and expects to have the 10 megawatt Newman Solar PV plant online by the end of 2014, bringing its solar nameplate capacity to 6% of its total generation.
- EPE also announced it will terminate its 7% participation in the Four Corners coal plant at the time of that plant’s scheduled closure in July 2016 but will assist the 93% owners and the Navajo Nation in sustaining plant operations.
A just-released study by the Brattle Group on the possible future resource mixes used by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which serves the vast majority of the state, found Texas could readily meet much of its load with natural gas, renewables, and demand side efficiencies.
CEO Tom Shockley said the 300 days of sun in the west Texas and southern New Mexico region that EPE serves are ideal for drawing on solar energy to generate electricity for its 395,000 customers.
The utility holds a 20 year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Southern Power and Turner Renewable Energy for the output of Macho Springs, a cadmium telluride PV installation built by First Solar. EPE holds a 30-year PPA with Juwi Solar for the output of Newman Solar.