Origis Energy along with Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association has started commercial operations at the 200MW Escalante solar project in in New Mexico, US.

Located in the service territory of Tri-State member Continental Divide Electric Cooperative, the American solar power project started the generation of carbon-free electricity on the 1 June 2024.

The Escalante project has been built on the site of the former 253MW, coal-fired Escalante power station which retired in 2020.

By utilising nearly 500,000 Boviet solar panel modules, it will generate sufficient clean energy to deliver power to approximately 63,000 households.

The American solar project delivers renewable electricity to Tri-State’s members, including 11 electric cooperative members in New Mexico. This is under a power purchase agreement with Origis Energy.

Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association CEO Duane Highley said: “Escalante Solar helps all our members get to 50% clean energy used in 2025, while meeting the requirements of New Mexico’s Energy Transition Act five years ahead of schedule.

“We thank Origis Energy for their work to successfully develop Escalante Solar, and we deeply appreciate their engagement with the local community.”

Gridworks was responsible for the construction of the Escalante project. It employed around 400 people during the construction, which began in August 2023.

Origis Energy Services will deliver long-term operations and maintenance services for the solar project, providing about four to six on-site jobs.

The Escalante solar project was announced in 2020 as part of Tri-State’s Responsible Energy Plan. It is said to be the largest solar project in the generation portfolio of Tri-State.

Origis Energy obtained the development rights for the solar project in 2021 from its original developer TurningPoint Energy.

Origis Energy executive chairman Guy Vanderhaegen said: “Every time a project is completed and begins commercial operation, that is cause to celebrate.

“We are especially delighted to bring affordable, reliable, renewable electricity to the members of Tri-State, which helps meet Tri-State’s decarbonisation goals.”