Wednesday, January 27, 2010

New Mexico to Build $1 Billion 300-Megawatt Solar Plant in Guadalupe County with GA-Solar

As the world's Energy Wars enter their fifth decade, it is finally nice to see people using or at least attempting to use the energy given off by the big ball at the center of the Solar System -- namely the Sun.

Governor Bill Richardson Announces GA Solar to Build One of World’s Largest Photovaltaic Solar Projects in New Mexico

January 27, 2010
Michael Moxey (505) 660-1926

SANTA FE- Governor Bill Richardson today announced that Spanish renewable energy company GA-Solar will be building one of the largest photovoltaic solar projects in the world in Guadalupe County. GA-Solar and their parent company, Corporación Gestamp, plan to invest $1 billion in New Mexico in the development of this project.

“I believe this unprecedented investment shows that New Mexico has not only become the center of the North American solar industry, but is ready to take its place as a global player in the production of renewable energy,” Governor Richardson said. “Building a comprehensive clean energy economy is key to the economic stability and vitality of New Mexico’s future.”

GA-Solar’s project will be located on 2,500 acres of land in Guadalupe County, which will be developed into a large solar array with the potential to reach upwards of 300MW of installed capacity once completed. It is expected to generate enough energy to power the equivalent of 50,000 homes for one year.

The project is estimated to take up to four years to construct, during which time the company will be employing 300 people in rural New Mexico. Upon completion, the company will maintain 75 full-time employees.

“Renewable energy and energy efficiency have steadily gained popularity in the United States and in New Mexico, in particular,” says Jon Riberas, CEO of GA-Solar and Corporación Gestamp. “GA-Solar is a leader in photovoltaic solar generation, with the depth and breadth of experience needed to grow the solar energy sector.”

Riberas also states, “The U.S. renewable market is the largest in the world, and we are fortunate to be in a region that has the necessary abundance of sun, wind and biomass activity for the production of renewable energy as well as the development of all business units within Gestamp Renewables.”

Additionally, the project will become a cornerstone in attracting solar investment and construction to New Mexico. Corporación Gestamp, one of the largest steel companies in the world, plans to source the racking equipment from local manufacturing facilities. Other potential entities attracted may include photovoltaic producers, inverters and steel manufacturers.

“This is one of the most exciting projects that we have ever welcomed to New Mexico,” said Economic Development Department Cabinet Secretary Fred Mondragón. “We are honored that GA-Solar recognizes that the combination of unlimited sunshine and our hard working labor pool are the only incentives they need to build their 300MW solar array in Guadalupe County,”

This is the third green economy project announced this month by Governor Richardson. On January 8th, the Governor welcomed Johnson Plate and Tower, wind tower manufacturers, to Santa Teresa. Last week he welcomed green building products manufacturer C/D² Enterprises to the Gallup area. Over the next few years, these three projects combined will create nearly 500 new green jobs.

More on GA-Solar and Corporación Gestamp: GA-Solar is a well-established leader in the solar energy sector as a developer of renewable energy projects in Spain, Italy, USA and India with over 200+ MW commissioned. GA-Solar focuses on the entitlement, design and engineering of solar projects, both thermal and photovoltaic, developing projects from start to finish. Upon development, GA-Solar undertakes feasibility studies and procures financing to construct and operate the plant.

GA-Solar’s parent company, Corporación Gestamp, is a $5 billion privately held Spanish corporation. It is a leader in the European steel, automotive component, storage and logistics sectors. It is also one the largest implementer of photovoltaic solar in Spain and Italy and partners with market leaders to build steel structures for PV and thermo-solar projects. Corporación Gestamp is a world leader in the manufacturing of steel towers for wind turbines and operates and develops wind projects (through Gestamp Eólica) as well as biomass projects (Gestamp Biothermal). Corporación Gestamp employs over 14,000 people at 69 various sites around the world.

For more on GA-Solar and Corporación Gestamp, go to

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