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June 2024

Questa  •  Red River  •  Cerro  •  Costilla  •  Amalia  •  Lama  •  San Cristobal

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Kit Carson Electric Awarded $500,000 To Fund Green Hydrogen Project

Kit Carson Electric Cooperative is getting a much needed nod of support from the U.S. Department of Energy for its Green Hydrogen Project. $500,000 in funding for the project was announced in mid-March.
The goal of the project is to repurpose water from the shuttered Chevron molybdenum mine. The project is expected to help bring jobs to the area and will contribute to a positive economic impact.

In our past reporting, we’ve explained how hydrogen can be stored for longer periods of time, allowing Kit Carson to store power and utilize it during emergencies or disasters when power needs to be cut off. Energy from new local KCEC solar arrays will power a process known as electrolysis, which involves separating the hydrogen in the water molecules and “creating a clean power end-to-end process.”

The award was championed by U.S. Senators Ben Ray Luján and Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, and is part of the approved Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill. Mayor John Ortega says he is tremendously grateful for this investment in the Village of Questa and is excited to see the project progress forward.

“This is truly a big idea for a small community with big needs,” said KCEC CEO Luis A. Reyes, Jr. “KCEC is extremely grateful to New Mexico Senators Luján and Heinrich and the U.S. Department of Energy for supporting our pursuit of innovative solutions to better our communities.”

Ultimately, fuel cells will use the stored hydrogen to generate electricity when solar and battery storage cannot meet local power demands. The $500,000 award follows the successful completion of a project feasibility study and preliminary engineering.

Questa Green Hydrogen Project, along with other KCEC renewable energy sources, will contribute to KCEC’s goals to be over 70 percent renewable-energy-powered by 2028, and ultimately 100 percent renewable-energy-powered as one of the cleanest energy cooperatives in the U.S.