D.E. Shaw Renewable Investments (DESI) closed on its San Juan Solar and Storage Project located in San Juan County, New Mexico, in July 2023. The project will interconnect to the grid using existing infrastructure from the former San Juan Generating Station. San Juan 1 is the first phase of a larger project that is expected to deliver 400MWac of power once constructed.
The project will provide renewable energy to its customers while working toward DESI’s goal of having emissions-free electricity generation by 2040. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the facility is expected to generate clean energy to power approximately 52,400 homes each year.
San Juan County is home to Farmington, which is ranked amongst the Energy Communities IWG’s top 25 priority communities. The region is home to one of the Energy Communities IWG’s Rapid Response Teams dedicated to providing on-ground assistance to support the energy transition in the Four Corners.
Historically, New Mexico’s energy sector has relied heavily on oil, natural gas and coal. San Juan Solar 1 will connect to the transmission capacity at the San Juan Generating Station, which burned coal from the nearby San Juan Coal Mine and produced about 847 megawatts of electricity. The station provided approximately 450 jobs for the area. Recent transitions away from coal-fired plants have displaced coal energy workers in the state. Renewable energy projects like San Juan Solar 1 are helping the state get on the fast track to clean energy reliance while generating more than $67 million in additional tax revenue.
“DESRI is thrilled to announce the start of construction at San Juan 1. As a capacity replacement for a retired coal generator, the Project is an important part of New Mexico’s transition to state-of-the-art, cost-effective renewable energy, firmed by battery storage,” said Thomas de Swardt, Chief Commercial Officer of DESRI. “We deeply appreciate the partnership of PNM, San Juan County, the San Juan Citizen’s Alliance, the Project’s lenders, and numerous other stakeholders and supporters in the community in achieving this milestone.” (courtesy PR Newswire).
The Energy Communities IWG will catalyze private sector-led projects supported by government resources. The Energy Communities IWG is charged with advancing an interagency commitment of robust federal leadership in direct partnership with energy communities to foster economic investment and revitalization and ensure the creation of good-paying jobs. The Energy Communities IWG has identified billions in funding to support coal-transitioning communities and help revive their economy. Investments in projects such as San Juan Solar 1 help ensure new jobs and opportunities will become available in new energy sectors.