New Mexico OKs Xcel Energy solar power purchase

Solar power project elp 2

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico utility regulators have cleared the way for Xcel Energy to buy solar power from two generating stations that will be built near Roswell.

Xcel announced Thursday that the state Public Regulation Commission approved the purchase of 140 MW of solar capacity from NextEra Energy Resources, which is developing the two solar farms.

Officials say the solar farms will be the largest in New Mexico to date.

Xcel will pay NextEra 3.5 cents per kWh in 2017. The utility says that's cheaper than the cost of generating electricity at some of Xcel's older natural gas-fueled plants in Texas and New Mexico.

Officials say the solar power will help Xcel's system in the two states achieve an 18 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2020 when compared to 2005 levels.

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