"It is gratifying to have the support of the local community, state and federal agencies," said Fred Nelson, CMI president. "We are pleased to move forward with this project that will make use of Questa’s outstanding solar resource and help provide renewable energy to the community."
The electricity produced will be sold to Kit Carson Electric Cooperative through a power purchase agreement. Project construction is scheduled to begin in spring 2010 and conclude by year-end.
"Kit Carson is excited to work with Chevron in this technology demonstration", said Luis Reyes, Jr., Chief Executive Officer of the Electric Cooperative. "We believe this project will build on our experience and leadership in renewable energy and create opportunities for valuable learning that we can utilize in the future."
"Five years ago, the Village of Questa developed a vision that it could become a leader in solar generation and production," said Mayor Malaquias Rael. "Today is the culmination of that vision and through this partnership with Chevron, our vision is becoming a reality. This is the first step and we hope others will come to work together to fulfill the full dimension of that vision."
The facility will include approximately 175 solar panels placed on about 20 acres of the Questa Mine’s tailings site. The project will be implemented in conjunction with an evaluation of various soil cover depths for closure of the tailing facility at the end of mining operations.
"This will be the largest CPV installation in the U.S. and one of the largest in the world," said Des King, CTV president. "The demonstration will help us understand the benefits of CPV technology and determine its applicability in other Chevron operations and properties."
Chevron will install concentrating photovoltaic technology that uses lenses to collect and focus direct sunlight onto layers of high efficiency cells. This technology is expected to work best in areas which have higher direct solar radiation such as New Mexico. Concentrix Solar GmbH has been selected by CTV to provide the concentrating photovoltaic system.
Chevron Mining Inc. is a diversified coal and metal mining company with four US-based mines, including an underground coal mine in Alabama, two surface coal mines in Wyoming and New Mexico, and an underground molybdenum mine in New Mexico. The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chevron Corporation and is headquartered in Englewood, CO.
Chevron Technology Ventures (CTV), a division of Chevron, USA, Inc., champions innovation, commercialization and integration of emerging technologies and related new business models within Chevron. CTV is pursuing this goal through business units involving biofuels, emerging energy and venture capital.