A significant milestone for Kit Carson Electric Cooperative has been met ahead of time. Partnership with Torch Clean Energy in two solar and storage projects will allow KCEC to surpass the 41 megawatts (MW) required to meet its goal of 100 percent daytime solar energy about nine months sooner than anticipated.
These new developments build upon the solar arrays that KCEC has installed over the past 12 years. Chevron’s solar array in the Village of Questa has been in operation since 2011. It generates approximately 1 MW per day, the equivalent of the Village’s electric demand. Chevron sells the power to Kit Carson, helping KCEC create a network, of distributed energy resources throughout the service territory in Taos, Colfax, and Rio Arriba Counties.
Once these projects are completed, KCEC with have a total of 53MW of renewable energy, including 38MW of solar and 15MW of storage capacity. The Taos Mesa Energy Facility will deliver 15MW of solar and 12MW of storage capacity, and the Angel Fire Energy Facility is slated to deliver 6MW of solar and 3MW of storage capacity.
“Torch is honored to partner with Kit Carson on these two projects in support of Kit Carson’s efforts to become a fully renewable powered utility,” said Jon Kilberg of Torch. “This is a major milestone for both the communities of Taos, the village of Angel Fire, and the nation! We are proud to play a role in Taos’ and Angel Fire’s transition to a green future.”
Through a long-standing financing relationship as Kit Carson’s largest private lender, CoBank provided the financing for both projects. “CoBank Farm Credit Leasing is excited to finance a leading edge solution that will help Kit Carson expand their energy resources and pair them with affordable renewable options,” said Landon Reneau, senior relationship manager with CoBank. “This is a major project with a number of intricacies that required all partners working together to meet key project deadlines. We look forward to the successful completion of their project in the coming months.”
KCEC and Torch have selected local New Mexico contractor Affordable Solar Installation (ASI) to build both projects. Construction is expected to begin this spring. Both projects will be fully operational by the end of 2021.
“We’re ecstatic to work with a co-op that matches our passion for renewable energy and are honored to have been selected to help Kit Carson reach their goal of becoming the greenest co-op in the country. We’re hopeful this project will positively impact the Taos County and Angel Fire communities,” said Kevin Bassalleck, President at Affordable Solar Installation Inc.
Kit Carson Electric Co-op was formed in 1944, Kit Carson is a member-owned electric distribution cooperative in northern New Mexico and the second largest cooperative in the state. Kit Carson is one of 16 electric cooperatives that serve rural New Mexico communities, reaching nearly 30,000 members in Taos, Colfax, and Rio Arriba counties. To learn more about Kit Carson, visit www.kitcarson.com.
Torch Clean Energy was founded in 2008, Torch Clean Energy is a renewable energy developer with extensive experience developing, permitting, designing, and building both solar and wind projects. To learn more about Torch, visit www.torchcleanenergy.com.
CoBank is a $159 billion cooperative bank serving vital industries across rural America, providing loans, leases, export financing, and other financial services to agribusinesses and rural power, water and communications providers in all 50 states. The bank also provides wholesale loans and other financial services to affiliated Farm Credit associations serving more than 75,000 farmers, ranchers and other rural borrowers in 23 states around the country. CoBank is a member of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of banks and retail lending associations chartered to support the borrowing needs of U.S. agriculture, rural infrastructure, and rural communities. Headquartered outside Denver, Colorado, CoBank serves customers from regional banking centers across the U.S. and also maintains an international representative office in Singapore.
Affordable Solar Installation started its business from an Airstream trailer in 1998. The company’s roots trace back to a passion for renewable energy, a strong commitment to community, and having fun. With many hundreds of megawatts of solar and energy storage projects completed and underway and over 150 employees, Affordable Solar has outgrown the Airstream but remains committed to the principles on which the company was founded and helping families in New Mexico save money and help the planet.
Kit Carson aims to be the greenest co-op in the country. 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.”—Luis Reyes Jr., CEO of KCEC.