Kit Carson Electric and Town of Taos Make Progress Toward a Resilient, Renewable and Reliable Future
Kit Carson Electric Cooperative and Town of Taos sign a Joint Solar Power Purchase Agreement targeted at stabilizing energy costs and enhancing local economic development Kit Carson Electric Cooperative (KCEC) and the Town of Taos have signed athirty-year solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the goal of providing cleaner, more affordable, locally sourced energy and increasing local energy self-sufficiency, while simultaneously providing for
the stabilization of utilities rates for both entities and their customers.
On August 22nd, 2017, Kit Carson Electric Cooperative’s CEO, Luis A. Reyes Jr., Town of Taos’ Mayor, Dan Barrone and Town Manager, Rick Bellis signed a thirty-year PPA ensuring the stabilization of wastewater rates for Town of Taos’ utility customers and clean, dependable and affordable energy for KCEC’s
consumers. KCEC will purchase the solar energy generated by a one-megawatt array to be constructed by the Town at a long term, fixed cost that is substantially lower than current fossil fuel generated electricity purchased over the grid. This will assist KCEC to move one step closer to its long-term goal of 100% daytime solar generation by 2022 and just the beginning of a commitment by both entities toward addressing the larger issue of economic growth for the region.
Earlier this year, the Town of Taos Council approved the financing and installation of the one-megawatt solar array, estimated at a cost of $2,000,000, to be located at the Town of Taos Regional Waste Water Treatment Plant. The project will be financed through a competitive grant and low-interest loan to the Town by New Mexico Energy and Minerals Department as a way to reduce operating costs for sewer and water facilities. This funding source was the first of its kind in New Mexico. By working in partnership with Kit Carson Electric staff, both entities found an effective and affordable solution that
provide benefits to both KCEC and the Town’s customers than if each entity worked separately. Kit Carson Electric Cooperative will derive clean, locally derived, dependable and affordable energy for the next thirty years, helping to stabilize electric rates. The Town will be able to reduce the major
operational cost of the Regional Sewage Treatment Facility (electricity) and can stabilize long-term sewage rates to its customers.
The one-megawatt project is only the first project between KCEC and the Town of Taos. Both entities are also working together with Guzman Renewable Energy Partners to develop another two-megawatt solar array on the same treatment facility property. This would be part of KCEC’s goal to build thirty-five megawatts within the service area/Enchanted by 2022.
Kit Carson Electric Cooperative and the Town of Taos are modeling what future cooperation looks like, leading the way towards a resilient, renewable and reliable future.