First Solar sells Macho Springs solar project

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First Solar has sold the 50 MWac Macho Springs Solar Power Plant to Southern Company subsidiary Southern Power and Turner Renewable Energy.

El Paso Electric has a 20-year power purchase agreement for all energy generated by the power plant.

The power plant, located on approximately 600 acres (243 hectares) of State Trust land near Deming, New Mexico, is the state’s largest solar power plant and will generate enough clean energy to power approximately 18,000 homes in El Paso Electric’s service territory. First Solar developed and constructed the project, working closely with the New Mexico State Land Office and El Paso Electric. The plant will operate on a commercial lease from the State Land Office.

Macho Springs is the third project that First Solar has sold to Southern Power and Turner Renewable Energy. Last year Southern Power and Turner bought the 139 MWac Campo Verde Solar Facility in Imperial County, California, and in 2010 the group acquired the 30 MWac Cimarron Solar Project adjacent to Ted Turner’s Vermejo Park Ranch in northern New Mexico.

The companies declined to disclose financial details of the deal.

The Macho Springs project will displace more than 40,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide in southern New Mexico and west Texas.