If you live in either a west Texas city like El Paso, or in southern New Mexico city like Las Cruces, chances are you’re a customer of El Paso Electric Company. This regional electric utility company has been in service for over 100 years. From the moment it was founded, El Paso Electric has been providing power and exceptional service to its customers.
El Paso Electric intends to continue to provide excellent service to customers in Texas and New Mexico. It appears that by the 2022-2023 summer peak season, there will be a greatly increased need for energy. El Paso Electric has been taking steps to ensure that they will be able to meet those needs for their New Mexico and Texas customers.
El Paso Electric began looking at proposals for increasing their electric capacity back in 2017. After consideration of the many proposals they received, they decided on a plan that included a diversified mix of resource additions, including solar. The total generation capacity of this plan is 526 MW, and consists of three different sources:
- 200 MW of solar
- 100 MW of battery storage
- 226 MW of natural gas
El Paso Electric plans to purchase other renewable energy sources, such as solar panel farms, as well. Specifically, wind and solar panel farms in Texas and New Mexico that are between 50 to 150 MW in size.
Advocates of solar energy in New Mexico and Texas should be thrilled by this. The fact that a major utility company is diversifying their energy mix so much is a wonderful thing. El Paso Electric has already installed one customer-dedicated solar installation. It was named the Hollman Atlas Solar Array, and services the U.S. air force.
The addition of batteries to store energy is a great idea as well. Solar panels are known to work very well- so well, in fact, that sometimes they produce excess energy. With these batteries, El Paso Electric can take that extra energy, and store it for later usage, such as at night. These batteries can also take and store energy from other sources as well, such as wind and natural gas. With these batteries, even less fossil fuels will have to be used to generate energy.
The New Mexico and Texas solar industries should be very pleased with this new goal from El Paso Electric. Their goal to bring customers greener energy is commendable, and will hopefully be followed by other utility companies in the future. Sunpro Solar is pleased to see that another electric company is choosing to use greener, sustainable methods for energy generation.