First Solar will build solar power projects for PNM

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First Solar Inc. agreed to construct three solar power projects with a total of 23 MW for Public Service Co. of New Mexico (PNM).

The three projects, once approved, are expected to begin construction and be completed in 2014. Up to 300 local construction jobs are expected at peak.

Under the agreement, First Solar is expected to provide engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services, using its advanced thin-film photovoltaic (PV) modules. PNM is the largest electrical provider in New Mexico, serving more than 500,000 customers in dozens of communities across the state.

Contingent on approval from the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, which PNM filed for earlier this month, the agreement establishes terms for the plants’ EPC work. The projects are part of PNM’s 2014 portfolio of renewable energy resources.

These new projects are in addition to five plants completed in 2011 and an additional 21.5 MW of solar PV to be completed this year; all totaling 67 MW that First Solar has contracted or is expected to construct with PNM by the end of 2014.

The solar plants in aggregate will generate enough clean energy to power up to 8,960 average New Mexico homes, displacing about 25,300 metric tons of CO2 annually– the equivalent of taking some 5,270 cars off the road, and displacing up to 14.5 million gallons of water consumption annually.

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