Formed in 1944, Kit Carson Electric (www.kitcarson.com) is the second largest cooperative in the state. It is one of 12 electric cooperatives that serve rural New Mexico communities. Its territory includes Taos, Colfax and Río Arriba counties. Guzman Energy Group (www.guzmanenergy.com) is “a specialty energy company that finances, trades and operates energy assets across North America.” The Florida-based firm has an office in Denver, Colo.
With Guzman’s help, last summer Kit Carson bought out its contract with Tri-State Generation and Transmission, which had limited local power generation to 5 percent of the co-op’s load. Kit Carson and Guzman Renewable Energy Partners (GREP) have since announced that, in addition to serving as wholesale energy supplier, GREP has become Kit Carson’s exclusive solar energy partner. Their goal is to enable the co-op’s customers meet all of their summer power needs from solar by 2022. With the support of outside investors, they intend to do this by installing up to 30 megawatts of renewable capacity, using 1-megawatt solar arrays and battery storage.
The initiative would make the cooperative one of the greenest in the country, not to mention saving its 30,000 members more than $50 million over the next 10 years, according to a press release. “This plan will also allow our community to be much more competitive in attracting businesses and jobs,” says Luís Reyes, Kit Carson’s CEO. Guzman’s managing director, Jeffrey Heit, said, “What better way to demonstrate that we are a new kind of energy partner and demonstrate our commitment to the community and more broadly, New Mexico, than by working with Kit Carson to support their renewable energy goals?” Guzman also provides power to the Jicarilla Apache Nation and built a 1-megawatt solar farm for the city of Aztec, N.M. The project generates about 8 percent of the city’s electricity.
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