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    Rancho Viejo Solar

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    Rancho Viejo Solar
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    AES’ Rancho Viejo Solar project is a planned solar facility that will incorporate the most advanced solar energy and battery storage technologies and is designed to minimize impact on the local environment. Rancho Viejo Solar will support New Mexico’s clean energy goal of 50% renewable by 2030, and 100% renewable by 2045.

    Project overview

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    96 MW Solar + 48 MW Battery Energy Storage

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    Enough clean energy to power 23,342 New Mexican homes annually

    * EPA Calculator

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    Developed on 800 acres of privately owned land

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    Located off South NM HWY 14

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    Provides clean energy to PNM customers

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    35-year project life span with AES as long-term owner and operator

    Project updates

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    For publicly available copies of the CUP application, please contact the Santa Fe County Planning Department.

    AES submitted Rancho Viejo Solar's Conditional Use Permit to the Santa Fe Planning Department on Jan 26, 2023. Copies will become public information upon the determination of a complete report by County officials.

    The AES team has been working closely with the community over the past many months and we have heard your questions, concerns, and suggestions. We have listened and adjusted our plans to ensure that AES’ Rancho Viejo Solar project reflects our commitment to being a good neighbor, and delivers long-lasting, positive impact.

    The site design has been adjusted so that the project is no longer directly to the north of the San Marcos neighborhood and therefore all necessary modules will move to the northeast corner of the site. This shift in design will continue to ensure the neighboring residents of Rancho San Marcos will have as unobstructed viewshed as possible to the north. Updated visual simulations were developed and are available below on this page. The battery energy storage systems (BESS) will be located in the remote northeast corner of the site design, more than one mile from any residential property.

    Project details

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    Click the image to download the full site layout.

    Rancho Viejo solar

    • 96 MWac solar facility paired with 48 MW containerized lithium-ion battery energy storage system (BESS)
    • Will be built on 800 acres of privately-owned land
    • Feeds into the Public Service of New Mexico (PNM) grid, providing power to PNM customers
    • Located in Santa Fe County, off South Hwy 14. The solar project will be set-back 1 mile from the highway
    • The project will be set-back a minimum of 1,000 ft from any adjacent property boundary
    • AES will be long-term owner and operator
    • At the end of the project’s life, a decommissioning plan allows for the land to be sensitively restored to pre-existing conditions
    • The decommissioning bond, Letter of Credit or Parent Guaranty will be held in the County’s name and will be reviewed to ensure it satisfies current market cost to decommission project

     

    Equipment Specs:

    PV Modules: Make: BYD MLTK-36 550W Count: 239,247
    Inverter: Make: GPTech PV3MWD
    Racking: Make: ATI DuraTrack
    Battery Module: Module: SDI E5D
    Battery Container: Make: CEN 20' ISO Count: 69
    Battery Inverter: Make: GPTECH 3MWD3-V730

     

    Project timeline

    Rancho Viejo timeline
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    The Rancho Viejo Solar project will deliver both environmental and economic benefits to the citizens and communities of Santa Fe County. The project was studied extensively, carefully planned, and will have no negative impact on regulated wetlands, watersheds, or habitats; threatened or endangered species; or cultural/historical resources.

    Economic and environmental benefits

    277,315 MWh

    carbon-free electricity each year

    119,965 tons of CO2 emissions expected to be offset each year, equivalent to the emissions generated by 25,849 cars driven in one year

    *EPA Calculator

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    $7 million tax revenue

    expected to be generated in tax revenue for Santa Fe County over the life of the project

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    200+ jobs

    expected to be created during peak construction

    Best practices in battery energy storage management

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    AES is the world leader in lithium-ion-based energy storage, both through our projects business and joint venture Fluence. We pioneered the technology over one decade ago, and today almost half our new projects include a storage component.

    AES is working closely with Santa Fe officials during the Rancho Viejo Solar project’s development and with the Santa Fe County Fire Department to implement safety best practices and training.

    AES designs, specifies, and procures energy storage modules, systems, and enclosures driven by wholistic plant safety, performance, and reliability metrics. The components are independently tested and then certified to several industry standards, including UL 1642, UL 1973, and UL 9540, as well as designed compliant to NFPA 855.

    Visual simulations

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    We have updated the visual simulations to match our new design plans. The updated simulations can be viewed and downloaded here.

    Environmental and technical studies

    • Aquatic Resources Inventory Report: Completed May 2022
    • Biological Survey Report: Completed May 2022
    • Phase I Environmental Site Assessment: Completed May 2022
    • Environmental Impact Report: In progress October 2022
    • Cultural Resources Pedestrian Survey Report: Completed July 2022
    • Hydrologic and Hydraulic Study: In progress October 2022
    • Site Thresholds Analysis: In progress October 2022
    • Geotechnical Investigation: Completed September 2022
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    Building partnerships to strengthen communities

    We believe in being a good neighbor, ensuring responsible renewable energy development that benefits both the environment and local communities. At AES, we understand that our success as a company is only as strong as our partnerships with the communities where we operate.

    That’s why we partner with communities, customers, state agencies, higher education, elected officials, and other key stakeholders to see how we can best work together to support sustainable social and economic development that complement the local geography and unique culture.

    Drawing on our deep expertise, we customize solutions to meet local needs. Our clean energy projects create jobs, generate substantial property tax revenue for local governments, and protect the environment.

    Building New Mexico's clean energy workforce with Santa Fe YouthWorks

    AES has partnered with Sante Fe-based nonprofit, YouthWorks, and donated funds that will allow 10 students to attend solar installation training courses to prepare them for the PV Associates exam and a career in the renewable energy industry. Since 2001, YouthWorks has served thousands of youth while expanding youth development opportunities that include youth advocacy, high-impact interventions, alternative education, and employment connections for young people.

    Training students for a future in solar with Solar Energy International

    AES has partnered with Solar Energy International (SEI), a nationally leading solar training and educational non-profit, to provide solar workforce development training in New Mexico. As part of that effort, AES has created an AES-funded scholarship, which provides financial assistance to 15 New Mexico residents to cover solar education tuition fees.

    The partnership with SEI also includes services for colleges and universities to provide career development consulting for the future solar industry workforce. These efforts aim to stimulate participation in New Mexico’s clean energy future.

    Educating our future clean energy leaders

    AES has partnered with schools in the Santa Fe school district to provide access to renewable energy educational materials that will continue to resource teachers and create learning opportunities for our clean energy leaders of the future.

    AES is a proud member and partner of

    • Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce
    • New Mexico State University
    • Santa Fe Youthworks
    • GRID Alternatives Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund
    • Apprenticeship partner programs with state union labor organizations
    • Solar Energy International (SEI)
    • Gila Natural Resources Information Project
    Thorn Lake FAQ

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    Contact us

    We want to hear from you! We appreciate your interest in AES' Rancho Viejo Solar project

     

    Email: ranchoviejosolar@aes.com

    Phone: 505-490-4935

    Stay updated

    If you’re interested in receiving project updates and meeting notices about the Rancho Viejo Solar project, please fill out and submit this form.

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