First Solar will construct the facilities using its solar PV panels at five separate sites within PNM's service territory. The sites will be chosen based on cost, availability and suitability of land; the quality of a site's solar potential; environmental and permitting considerations; and level of local support, First Solar says.
If approved by state regulators, the 22 MW AC of solar PV capacity, would be the first contracted under the terms of an agreement PNM reached with state environmental, renewable energy and governmental organisations two weeks ago. The specifics of that plan, to be filed with the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC) on 25 January, call for a total of 45 MW of utility scale solar PV to be added to PNM's system in the 2010-2011.
Construction on the first solar PV site is expected to start by 2011, or as soon as the PRC approves PNM's renewable plan. First Solar expects construction at all five sites to be completed by late 2011.