New Mexico –The United States Air Force and El Paso Electric (EPE) today announce the beginning of construction for a new five megawatt solar facility to serve Holloman Air Force Base (HAFB). The solar plant will be an EPE owned dedicated energy resource for HAFB and is the first renewable energy project that EPE will build to serve a military installation.
"Providing our warfighter with diverse, resilient energy sources is a key component of mission assurance. The Air Force is committed to providing installations the support they need to determine where initiatives and technologies such as on-base solar can complement and enhance installation energy assurance plans," said Dan Soto, Renewable Energy Division Chief at the Air Force Civil Engineer Center (AFCEC).
"Any time an installation has the opportunity to partner with its utility providers to improve energy resiliency and reduce their carbon footprint through renewable energy production, while at the same time saving tax payers' money, it is a good day," said Lt. Col. Joel Purcell, 49th Wing Civil Engineer Squadron commander.
With the addition of this solar facility, EPE will increase its utility-scale renewable energy solar resources to a total of 115 MWs.
"We are proud to be working with the Air Force by providing large scale solar to help ensure energy security now and in the future," said Mary Kipp, El Paso Electric President and CEO. “As a recognized leader in the implementation and expansion of utility-scale solar energy, we hope this collaboration with the Air Force, the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission and everyone involved will lead to additional projects with organizations who share our goal of fostering affordable, sustainable energy in our region.”
M+W Energy, who recently constructed EPE’s community solar facility in east El Paso, Texas, will also be constructing the HAFB solar facility which is expected to be operational in the third quarter of 2018.
“We are pleased to once again work with EPE to help bring more clean energy to the region while employing more than 90 local workers to build this solar facility over the course of construction,” said Jim Brown, President of M+W Energy, Inc.
The solar facility will be located on a 42-acre site within HAFB in New Mexico. The new facility will utilize almost 56,000 thin-film modules and will generate enough clean energy to power more than 1,700 homes annually.
This project will reduce annual CO2 emissions by over 9,000 US tons, the equivalent of taking 2,000 cars off the road, and will also save approximately 9 million gallons of water annually.
About Holloman Air Force Base
The 49th Wing - host wing at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico - supports national security objectives by deploying worldwide to support peacetime and wartime contingencies. The wing provides combat-ready Airmen, and trains General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper pilots, sensor operators and F-16 Fighting Falcon pilots. Additionally, the wing delivers Air Transportable Clinics and Basic Expeditionary Airfield Resources while providing support to more than 10,000 military and civilian personnel.
About El Paso Electric
El Paso Electric is a regional electric utility providing generation, transmission and distribution service to approximately 417,000 retail and wholesale customers in a 10,000 square mile area of the Rio Grande valley in west Texas and southern New Mexico. El Paso Electric's common stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol EE.
About M+W Group
M+W Group GmbH, based in Stuttgart/Germany, is a leading global high-tech engineering company. Established in 1912, the company operates in more than 30 countries. The M+W Group manages projects of all dimensions on behalf of clients from various sectors, including electronics, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, energy and information technology — from semiconductor plants to nanotechnology research centers. The company offers a full range of services from concept and design to turnkey solutions. For more information, please visit: www.mwgroup.net.