First Solar, Inc. announced agreements to construct four solar power plants totaling 20 megawatts (MW) AC of generating capacity for PNM Resources, Inc. First Solar will provide engineering, procurement and construction services, using its advanced thin-film photovoltaic (PV) modules. PNM has the option to expand the agreement to a total of 22 MWAC. The new solar projects are in addition to five projects totaling 22 MW that First Solar completed for PNM in 2011.
The solar plants could be in service by the end of 2013, although the schedule is dependent on project approval by the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, whose decision is expected in the fourth quarter of 2012. The four projects are expected to create a total of up to 450 construction jobs at peak.
"First Solar is very pleased to be working again with a leader in renewable energy like PNM," said Jim Tyler, First Solar Vice President of Engineering, Procurement and Construction. "Our advanced technology and unparalleled experience designing and building solar power plants will help ensure PNM's customers enjoy many years of clean, reliable solar electricity."
The solar plants in aggregate will generate enough clean energy to power up to 7,000 average New Mexico homes, displacing about 31,000 metric tons of CO2 annually—the equivalent of taking some 6,000 cars off the road.