Construction has started on First Solar's 50MW Macho Springs solar project in New Mexico, US.
First Solar said the project will be the largest solar power development in the state once completed in 2014.
Located on state trust land near Deming in Luna County, the plant will generate enough electricity to power more than 18,000 average homes in the El Paso Electric service territory.
The project will feature First Solar's advanced thin-film photovoltaic (PV) modules and will displace more than 40,000mt of carbon dioxide and in excess of 340,000mt of water consumption annually.
First Solar Project Development Director Michael Hatfield said, "The Macho Springs Solar Plant will be an exciting addition to the region's renewable energy resources."
El Paso Electric will purchase the entire power generated from the plant to serve its customers in New Mexico and Texas service territories.
New Mexico state land commissioner Ray Powell said the project will benefit the local and regional economy with direct and indirect benefits, and create approximately 300 temporary construction jobs.
The project will operate on a commercial lease from the State Land Office on some 500 acres of land at Macho Springs, near Deming.
Image: Macho Springs project will generate enough clean electricity to power more than 18,000 homes in the region. Photo: courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net.