D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments (DESRI) has received regulatory approval for its offtake contracts with El Paso Electric (EPE) for the Carne solar and battery storage project in Luna County, New Mexico.
DESRI is a renewable energy company based in New York, while El Paso Electric is a Texas-based public utility company engaged in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity in west Texas and southern New Mexico.
According to the company, the 130-MW Carne project, which includes a 65-MW battery storage facility, has secured approval from New Mexico Public Regulatory Commission (NMPRC) for a 20-year power purchase agreement and energy storage agreement with EPE.
The NMPRC’s approval marks a crucial step in the project’s development and progress towards the start of construction. Commercial operations of the project are anticipated to begin in 2025.
The project is expected to provide new energy and battery storage capacity to EPE’s customers and contribute to the utility’s strategic mission of achieving 100 percent decarbonization of its generation portfolio by 2045.
“The Carne project will deliver new, cost-effective clean energy to EPE’s customers, as well as energy storage that will provide crucial grid stability to the region,” said Hy Martin, Chief Development Officer of DESRI. “We appreciate the ongoing support from the project’s stakeholders, including Luna County and the local community.”
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Carne is expected to generate sufficient clean energy to power about 38,000 homes each year. The project is also expected to bring substantial benefits to the community, including the creation of construction jobs and local economic development.
DESRI will serve as the long-term owner and operator of the Crane project, which represents the company’s fourth project in New Mexico and the second project in Luna County. It is currently developing the Arroyo and San Juan Solar projects in New Mexico’s McKinley and San Juan counties, respectively.
“The NMPRC’s approval is a significant milestone for the Carne project and underscores our commitment to advancing our renewable energy initiatives,” said David Hawkins, Vice President of System Operations and Resource Strategy of EPE. “The project allows us to deliver affordable, reliable and sustainable energy to our customers.”