New Mexico Utility Unveils 50-MW Solar Facility to Power Facebook

Wed October 21, 2020 - West Edition #22
Associated Press

A virtual ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on Oct. 7 for the Encino Solar Field, located in Sandoval County, N.M., west of Rio Rancho.
A virtual ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on Oct. 7 for the Encino Solar Field, located in Sandoval County, N.M., west of Rio Rancho.



RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) The largest electric provider in New Mexico has unveiled its latest solar array, a 50-megawatt facility that was built to power Facebook's Los Lunas Data Center with renewable energy.

A virtual ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on Oct. 7 for the Encino Solar Field, located in Sandoval County, N.M., west of Rio Rancho.

Public Service Co. of New Mexico and New Mexico Renewable Development LLC entered an agreement last year to build the solar array to provide electricity for Facebook's data center near Los Lunas. Construction of the solar plant included around 180,000 solar modules.

The utility said it's committed to its goal of providing emissions-free electricity to customers over the next two decades. Facebook has committed to support its operations with 100 percent renewable energy beginning this year.

With the Encino solar array, the utility said its ownership and power purchase agreements equal 287 megawatts of solar and more than 350 megawatts of wind. Additional renewable resources are expected to come online over the next few years.