During the next several months, two renewable projects in Colorado and New Mexico are scheduled to begin producing more than four megawatts of capacity combined for Tri-State members Poudre Valley REA (Fort Collins, Colo.) and Kit Carson Electric Cooperative (Taos, N.M.).
The largest of the two facilities is the Carter Lake Hydroelectric Project, now under construction adjacent to the 112,000-acre-foot lake of the same name in northern Colorado.
Slated for commercial operation this summer, the new hydro plant will feature two horizontal Francis turbines capable of generating a maximum output of 2,600 kilowatts (2.6 megawatts) and is expected to generate approximately 7,000 megawatt-hours annually.
The Carter Lake hydro plant will be owned and operated by the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District. Poudre Valley REA will purchase the output of the plant under a power purchase agreement with the water district and Tri-State is providing support and financial incentives of both member projects under its board policies 115 and 117.
Before the end of May, Kit Carson Electric hopes to be taking up to 1.5 megawatts of solar capacity from a photovoltaic (PV) solar site now under construction in northern New Mexico. It is being built on a 12-acre site near the town of Amalia and will be owned and operated by Standard Solar of Gaithersburg, M.D.
Kit Carson Electric, which will purchase the energy under a contract with Standard Solar, expects the Amalia Solar Project’s 5,280 panels to generate enough electricity to meet the requirements of about 375 New Mexico homes.
Kit Carson Electric held a groundbreaking event on April 12 at the Amalia solar site in northern New Mexico.
Kit Carson Electric recently held a groundbreaking ceremony at the solar site, which was attended by government officials, community and business leaders and co-op board members.
The Amalia site is the sixth solar project that the Taos-based co-op has helped develop in its service territory.