Cooperative to achieve 2022 goal early
by Allen Best
A deal was announced last week will allow Kit Carson Electric Cooperative to achieve the goal it laid out in 2016 when it left Tri-State Generation & Transmission—and it looks to be crossing the finish line months early.
CoBank Farm Credit Leasing will provide the financing that will yield 21 new megawatts of solar capacity and 15 megawatts of storage. Luis Reyes, the chief executive of Kit Carson, said he expects the work to be completed by the end of 2021. That’s 6 months earlier than was originally projected.
Installations will be at both Taos Mesa and at Angel Fire. The electrical cooperative has 30,000 members in Taos and two adjoining counties in northern New Mexico. Included are four ski areas.
With this addition, Kit Carson has surpassed 41 megawatts of solar and 15 megawatts of storage capacity.
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“Kit Carson aims to be the greenest co-op in the country,” said Reyes in a press release. “The addition of these two new solar arrays gives us almost twenty solar projects within our territory, making Taos and the surrounding areas the “Solar Capital of the World.”
In leaving Tri-State in 2016, Kit Carson set out to develop its solar capacity. The goal was to be 100% daytime solar by 2022. Its wholesale power supplier is Denver-based Guzman Energy
Torch Clean Energy will develop the new solar and storage projects and sell the power to Kit Carson in power-purchase agreement. The company has an appetite for the tax credits available through the federal government, something that Kit Carson, as a cooperative, does not have.
Once constructed, Kit Carson will surpass the 41 megawatts required to meet its goal of 100 percent daytime solar energy. Originally set to be reached by 2022, this goal can be achieved up to nine months earlier than anticipated. BP
(In a coming issue of Big Pivots look for a story about how climate change, wildfire, and Kit Carson’s battery storage are interconnected).
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