U.S. Air Force officials, alongside El Paso Electric (EPE) representatives, officially celebrated the completion and commercial operation of the Holloman Atlas Solar Array at a ribbon cutting ceremony held Friday.
“The completion of the Holloman Atlas Solar Array marks a milestone in our renewable energy goals and embodies our mission to provide safe, clean, and sustainable sources of energy,” said Mary Kipp, El Paso Electric President and CEO. “Today, we want to celebrate our inaugural collaboration with the U.S. Air Force and look forward to continue serving our community through these kinds of partnerships.”
The EPE-owned and operated solar facility, its first built to serve a U.S. military installation, spans 42-acres and is dedicated to serve the Holloman Air Force Base electric load in Otero County, New Mexico.
“From the beginning, we were confident in this new cooperation with El Paso Electric as we all came together to bring this project to fruition. The addition of this clean energy resource will enhance our resiliency and ability to better equip our installation while at the same time saving on tax payer costs. In addition to enhancing our installation, we are reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. By decreasing this dependence, we are strengthening and increasing our national security.” said Lt. Col. Joel Purcell, 49th Wing Civil Engineer Squadron, Commander.
Holloman Air Force Base and EPE entered into an agreement for the development of the solar facility in 2016 and began construction in 2017. In attendance at the ribbon cutting ceremony were leadership representatives from Holloman Air Force Base and El Paso Electric to help celebrate the launch of this enhanced relationship.
EPE’s newest solar facility is made up of almost 56,000 thin-film modules that will generate enough electricity to power more than 1,700 homes annually. This will prevent annual CO2 emissions by over 9,000 U.S. tons, the equivalent of removing 2,000 cars from the road, and will also save approximately nine million gallons of water.
Exyte Energy, Inc., the engineering company who also constructed EPE’s community solar facility in East El Paso, completed Holloman Atlas Solar Array and created over 90 jobs through the duration of the development.
“The Holloman Atlas Solar Array is a landmark project for us as we were once again able to work with EPE to build its first facility to serve a military installation, as well as expand its clean energy footprint for the region,” said Jim Brown, Exyte Energy, Inc. President.
The addition of the Holloman Atlas Solar Array will increase EPE’s total renewable energy portfolio to a total of 115 MWs.