Photo courtesy EP Electric

EP Electric Plans to Add 100’s of Megawatts of Solar Energy, Battery Storage by 2023

On Monday, officials with El Paso Electric (EPE) announced a plan to add both resources and infrastructure ahead of anticipated demand over the next 5 years.

“These technologies provide a mix of carbon-free renewable and clean burning natural gas generation that will enable us to meet the growing need for power in our region in a safe, clean, reliable, and cost-effective manner,” said Mary Kipp, El Paso Electric President and Chief Executive Officer. “This balanced combination of resources will work with our existing energy portfolio as we move to retire aging, less efficient plants while continuing to meet our customers’ changing energy needs.”

According to EPE officials, they have identified generation resource additions needed by the 2022-2023 summer peak season.  The generation mix includes utility scale solar, battery storage, and natural gas.

The anticipated operational date for the new gas turbine is 2023, at an expected cost of $143 million.

“Through initial resource planning studies, EPE determined that it requires additional generating capacity of approximately 50 MW by 2022 and 320 MW by 2023 for a total of 370 MW,” the document released on social media stated.

“After careful evaluation of the competitive 2017 All Source Request for Proposals for Electric Power Supply and Load Management Resources (RFP), the winning bids include the expected energy purchase of 200 megawatts (MW) of utility scale solar resources, 100 MW of battery storage, and the construction of a 226 MW natural gas combustion turbine generating unit at the Company’s Newman Power Station in northeast El Paso.”

In addition, EPE expects to pursue the purchase of 50 to 150 MW of wind and solar-generated power to provide for “fuel diversity and energy cost savings.”

Officials added, “The mix of new capacity underscores EPE’s strategic goal to remain at the forefront in advancing renewable energy and expanding its overall energy portfolio with cost-effective, diverse and competitive-based energy resources for its customers.”