BPU Ponders Solar Power Purchase Agreement Aug. 22

Members of the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) will consider at the August meeting whether to approve a 1.32-megawatt (MW) solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) on the East Jemez Road landfill.
Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities (DPU) staff will present the PPA at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 22 at the scheduled meeting in Council Chambers.
If approved, the PPA will be forwarded to the Los Alamos County Council for consideration.
The proposed 1.32-MW photovoltaic solar array would be installed adjacent to the existing 1MW array on the closed landfill owned by the Department of Energy and leased to Los Alamos County. Under the terms of the PPA, Los Alamos Solar II, LLC would deliver photovoltaic (PV) generated electricity to the DPU at a price of $0.0585 per kilowatt hour (kWh) for a 25-year term.
It is estimated that the new PV system would generate on average 2,250 MWh per year, which is approximately two percent of the County’s annual load.
With a BPU-approved goal to be a carbon neutral electric provider by 2040, this project would bring the DPU one step closer.
Philo Shelton Utilities Manager points out that, “this proposed project will reduce about 1,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide from being released into our atmosphere each year through fossil-fueled generation. Furthermore, by siting it on a landfill makes good use of otherwise unproductive land.”
The Los Alamos National Laboratory supports adding the project to the pooled electric generation resources in accordance with the Electric Coordination Agreement with the County.
The Aug. 22 meeting is open to the public. Additional questions may be directed to the Customer Care Center at 505.662.8333 or CustomerCare@lacnm.us.