In June 2016, Kit Carson Electric Company divorced their long-term contract with electricity wholesaler Tri-State Generation & Transmission. They decided to do this for several reasons; Tri-State had raised wholesale prices nine times over 13 years, and most importantly the contract terms were that KCEC could not produce more than 5% of its electricity from locally sourced renewable power.
Kit Carson had been working on a solar power plan for more than ten years. Unable to expand their solar initiatives because of limitations from Tri-State. An exciting and progressive plan has finally been born.
After Kit Carson agreed to pay an exit fee of $37 million to Tri-State to cover revenue loss and equipment transfer, Guzman Renewable Energy Partners came into the picture. Guzman bid on and won Kit Carson’s business with a ten year wholesale electricity agreement that included them paying the exit fee to Tri-State.
The best part about Guzman becoming the new electricity wholesaler for KCEC is their plan to build 30 megawatts of solar arrays in five years throughout the Kit Carson service areas. Locally owned and operated PPC Solar and Sol Luna Solar will be teaming up to be the EPC for the 30 megawatts of solar.
The arrays will be built on owned or leased land. In year one of the solar plan, 1 megawatt solar arrays will go up in Tres Piedras, Picuris Pueblo, El Prado, Taos Waste Treatment, Eagle Nest, Angel Fire, and El Rito Community College. These arrays will be strategically scattered to make the solar energy the most effective in case of cloud cover.
The significance of local solar energy companies as the EPC (engineering, procurement, construction) is huge. An out of town EPC contractor wouldn’t have benefitted our community at all. With PPC Solar and Sol Luna Solar as the EPC on this project it will create a cycle of benefits in the community. Profits will stay in our community as well as create renewable energy jobs for more locals. The community will earn tax revenues for local government and most importantly help the customers stabilize electricity costs.
The residents and businesses in the Kit Carson service area will be able to anticipate low-cost clean energy for many years to come and Kit Carson will be the first and only rural cooperative to escape dealing with the traditional supplier.
The PPC Solar team is thrilled to be a part of this groundbreaking movement on our home turf… Ten years in the making!