SunEdison, a subsidiary of MEMC Electronic Materials, has officially launched its new 12MW Las Cruces Centennial solar farm located near Las Cruces International Airport in New Mexico, US.

The solar farm, which covers approximately 140 acres of land, employs 48,000 of MEMC’s Silvantis P280 photovoltaic modules.

SunEdison general manager for North America, Tim Derrick, said: "SunEdison is proud of the work accomplished with EPE and commends their leadership and continued commitment to renewable energy."

Under a 25-year power purchase agreement, EPE will purchase all the energy produced from the solar farm. which was built by SunEdison. Operation and maintenance of the power plant with be overseen by SunEdison.

EL Paso Electric CEO Tom Shockley said the utility continues to evaluate opportunities to invest in additional projects in the future to expand its renewable energy portfolio.

"Currently, EPE’s owned renewable energy projects and purchase power agreements represent almost 3% of the company’s net dependable generating capacity, which represents one of the largest percentages of renewable energy for a company of EPE’s size in the United States," said Shockley.

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By GlobalData

The facility is expected to produce 32m kWh of clean solar energy in the first year and over 773m kWh over 25 years to meet the electricity needs of 72,000 average-sized homes in US over the course of a year.

PNC Energy Capital provided equity financing for the solar farm, which was activated in May 2012.