NRG Solar, a subsidiary of NRG Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NRG), started producing electricity at its 20-megawatt (MW) Roadrunner Solar Generating Facility, the second-largest photovoltaic (PV) project in the state of New Mexico. It is the third large-scale solar generation plant NRG has brought online and the Company’s first outside California.
The Roadrunner facility created more than 200 jobs during its construction over the past nine months and now will generate enough renewable power to supply thousands of homes when operating at full capacity. First Solar Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) provided engineering, construction and procurement services for the project using its advanced thin film photovoltaic solar modules, and will also be the operations and maintenance contractor for the facility.
“On the heels of our recent commencement of operations at the Avenal Solar Generating Facility in California we now have our first solar facility operating in New Mexico, signaling that our diligent labors last year are starting to bear fruit,” said Tom Doyle, President of NRG Solar and NRG’s West Region. “We celebrate this milestone with our customers and business partners in New Mexico, where our facility will help harness the state’s plentiful solar resources to meet its renewable energy goals.”
The Roadrunner facility uses First Solar’s advanced thin-film modules mounted on single-axis trackers. The system rotates the PV solar panels to follow the sun throughout the day, increasing electricity production compared with a fixed tilt installation.
The facility is located on a 210-acre privately owned parcel of industrial-zoned land near Santa Teresa, New Mexico, about 10 miles from El Paso, Texas. Cost-competitive, renewable power generated by the Roadrunner facility will be sold to El Paso Electric under a 20-year power purchase agreement.