D.E. Shaw begins construction on 200 MWac San Juan solar+storage project in N.M.

New Mexico

D.E. Shaw Renewable Investments (DESRI) has closed on financing and started construction on its San Juan 1 project, a 200 MWac solar and 100 MWac battery storage facility adjacent to the former San Juan Generating Station in San Juan County, New Mexico.

The project is a critical capacity replacement to the San Juan Generating Station, which was retired in 2022, and it will interconnect to the grid using existing infrastructure from the retired plant. San Juan 1 is the first phase of a larger project that is expected to deliver 400 MWac of clean power to the grid when fully developed and constructed.

San Juan 1 is DESRI’s third project in New Mexico and first project in San Juan County. The project has a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Public Service Co. of New Mexico (PNM) and will provide meaningful renewable energy to its customers while facilitating the company’s efforts to have all electricity generation be emissions free by 2040.

“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.”

The project is anticipated to commence operations in mid-2024. Photosol USA initially developed the project before selling it to DESRI in 2022.

“The San Juan 1 Project serves as an important step in our path to carbon-free electricity while providing new energy infrastructure in New Mexico’s Four Corners region,” said Tom Fallgren, PNM Principal Generation Advisor.

Financing for the construction of the project was provided by a consortium of lenders including Société Générale (SG) as lead arranger, plus Zions Capital Markets, Huntington National Bank, Commerzbank AG and SuMi Trust.

SOLV Energy will serve as the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor for the solar and battery storage components, while EPC Services Co. will construct the generation tie-line and project substation. Additionally, SOLV Energy will provide ongoing operations and maintenance services to the facility once operational.

“As New Mexico energy companies continue to invest in solar and storage resources, communities across the state will benefit from lower energy costs, more job opportunities, and increased tax revenue,” said George Hershman, CEO of SOLV Energy.

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