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Plans to Add Hundreds of MWs of Solar Energy, Battery Storage by 2023

January 21, 2019

El Paso Electric Plans to Add Hundreds of Megawatts of Solar Energy, Battery Storage by 2023

Generation needed to replace older units, support customer growth

El Paso, Texas - El Paso Electric (EPE) has identified generation resource additions needed by the 2022-2023 summer peak season. The generation mix includes utility scale solar, battery storage, and natural gas. Through initial resource planning studies, EPE determined that it requires additional generating capacity of approximately 50 MW by 2022 and 320 MW by 2023 for a total of 370 MW.

After careful evaluation of the competitive 2017 All Source Request for Proposals for Electric Power Supply and Load Management Resources (RFP), the winning bids include the expected energy purchase of 200 megawatts (MW) of utility scale solar resources, 100 MW of battery storage, and the construction of a 226 MW natural gas combustion turbine generating unit at the Company’s Newman Power Station in northeast El Paso. The anticipated operational date for the gas turbine is 2023 at an expected cost of $143 million. In addition, EPE expects to pursue the purchase of 50 to 150 MW of wind and solar generated power to provide for fuel diversity and energy cost savings.

The selected proposals are subject to the execution of contracts following negotiations with the winning bidders, obtaining the applicable environmental and construction related permits, and obtaining necessary approvals by the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission.    

The mix of new capacity underscores EPE’s strategic goal to remain at the forefront in advancing renewable energy and expanding its overall energy portfolio with cost-effective, diverse and competitive-based energy resources for its customers.

“These technologies provide a mix of carbon-free renewable and clean burning natural gas generation that will enable us to meet the growing need for power in our region in a safe, clean, reliable, and cost-effective manner,” said Mary Kipp, El Paso Electric President and Chief Executive Officer. “This balanced combination of resources will work with our existing energy portfolio as we move to retire aging, less efficient plants while continuing to meet our customers’ changing energy needs.”   

About El Paso Electric

El Paso Electric is a regional electric utility providing generation, transmission and distribution service to approximately 424,000 retail and wholesale customers in a 10,000 square mile area of the Rio Grande valley in west Texas and southern New Mexico. 

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