ALBUQUERQUE, July 2 (UPI) -- A solar project in New Mexico is drawing major utilities.
New Mexico's four largest electric utilities issued a request for proposals for a large-scale solar generating plant that could provide electricity for up to 52,000 homes, the Albuquerque Journal reported.
The Public Service Company of New Mexico, El Paso Electric, Xcel Energy and Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association jointly issued the request. The group is seeking detailed plans from solar developers for construction of a solar parabolic trough generation plant to feed power to each of the utilities by 2012.
El Paso Electric spokesman Henry Quintana said it is not unusual for utilities to work together on shared power projects. He pointed to the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, which El Paso and PNM both worked on.
The requirements in the request include siting the plant in New Mexico, using parabolic trough technology, encouraging thermal energy storage and being able to deliver between 211,000 and 375,000 megawatt-hours per year.
A cost has not yet been estimated, but each utility would financially support it through some sort of purchased power agreements for the electricity generated.