A 200-MW solar project in New Mexico replaces a retired coal-fired power plant


Origis Energy and Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association have completed construction and commenced commercial operation of Escalante Solar, a 200 MW solar project built on the site of a former 253 MW power plantACcoal-fired Escalante Station near Grants, New Mexico, which was retired in 2020.

The 200 MW Escalante Solar project entered commercial operation and began producing power on June 1. Origis Energy

“Escalante Solar is helping all of our members achieve 50% clean energy in 2025 while meeting New Mexico Energy Transition Act requirements five years ahead of schedule,” said Duane Highley, Tri-State CEO. “We thank Origis Energy for their work towards the successful development of Escalante Solar and deeply appreciate their commitment to the local community.”

Escalante Solar currently provides enough renewable energy to power approximately 63,000 homes directly to Tri-State members, including 11 electric cooperative members in New Mexico, through a power purchase agreement with Origis Energy. The project was announced in 2020 as part of Tri-State’s Responsible Energy Plan and is located in the service area of ​​Tri-State member Continental Divide Electric Cooperative. In 2021, Origis acquired development rights to the project from TurningPoint Energy, which originally developed it. This is the largest solar project in the Tri-State generation portfolio.

“Adding a new tax base for McKinley County and our local school district is certainly beneficial, and we appreciate Tri-State and the project partners for bringing Escalante Solar to our region,” said Robert E. Castillo, Continental Divide Electric Cooperative CEO and CEO.

The project will pay approximately $7,100,000 in taxes to the county and $2,400,000 in taxes to the school district over the life of the project.

Construction services for the project were provided by Albuquerque-based Gridworks, which employed approximately 400 people at the time. Origis Energy Services will provide long-term operations and maintenance services for the project with approximately four to six employees on-site. The project used approximately 500,000 Boviet solar panels. Array Technologies provided solar tracking systems and solutions.

“Every time a project is completed and commercial operations begin, it is a cause for celebration,” said Guy Vanderhaegen, executive chairman of Origis Energy. “We are especially thrilled to provide Tri-State members with affordable, reliable and renewable electricity, which helps achieve Tri-State’s decarbonization goals.”

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