Massive photo voltaic undertaking proposed in Rio Rancho

RIO RANCHO — The Metropolis of Rio Rancho may grow to be house to one of many largest photo voltaic farms within the state.

Clenera, a non-public Boise, Idaho-based renewable vitality firm, needs to construct photo voltaic panels on about 3,100 acres of unused land within the western portion of Quail Ranch.

The ranch sits on the West Mesa in Bernalillo County and is annexed inside the Metropolis of Rio Rancho.

The photo voltaic undertaking would create about 350 jobs throughout peak building after which 4 full-time jobs.

The aim is to have the panels up and working by June 2024, in accordance with the corporate.

“We are looking to build the Atrisco Solar farm on this particular site as it is an exceptional location for solar,” Clenera Senior Growth Undertaking Supervisor Eric Demarais informed the Observer in an electronic mail. “It is directly adjacent to high voltage transmission lines, is a mostly flat site, and has minimal impact to resources.”

The photo voltaic panels may produce as much as 400 megawatts per day.

“If we build the full 400 megawatts it would be one of the largest solar farms in the state,” he mentioned, including that it may energy about 100,000-150,000 properties.

“It is a rough back of the envelope estimate and that is why there is a large range,” he mentioned. “It was meant to try and show the size and scale of the facility.”

He added that properties aren’t a very good customary unit of measurement as a result of properties throughout the nation and the state “can have widely varying electric usage.”

The positioning would additionally enable for photo voltaic era storage together with a distribution system to assist ease stress on the grid throughout peak vitality consumption.

“This facility will help PNM (Public Service Company of New Mexico) meet their energy demands of their customers including during those hot summer days when electric use is at its peak in Rio Rancho,” Demarais mentioned.

The corporate has a purchase order settlement with PNM.

The hope is to be part of the bigger plan for PNM to fulfill the wants of its clients throughout the state, he mentioned, to allow them to have “continued reliable access to electricity.”

‘We’re excited’

The Rio Rancho Planning and Zoning Board advisable amending the Quail Ranch Grasp Plan to incorporate the photo voltaic undertaking, and a zone map modification for the property at its Tuesday night time assembly.

“We’re excited to bring this project forward,” Consensus Planning Principal James Strozier informed the board.

Resident Paul Zamora, who lives close to the proposed website, expressed considerations about security for close by properties however builders mentioned that shouldn’t be a difficulty.

Nevertheless, as a result of the proposed website is a few couple miles north of Double Eagle II Airport, Strozier mentioned the Federal Aviation Administration could request a glare research be carried out. The research would decide whether or not reflections from the panels are prone to intrude with the imaginative and prescient of pilots or air site visitors controllers.

It isn’t recognized when the photo voltaic farm proposal will come earlier than the Rio Rancho Governing Physique.

If the undertaking is given the go-ahead, then work may begin on the finish of the yr, Demarais mentioned.

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