New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson announced today that Chevron’s mining subsidiary, Chevron Mining Inc., will build a one megawatt concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) solar facility on the tailing site of their molybdenum mine in Questa, New Mexico.
The demonstration project will be the largest concentrating solar photovoltaic installation in the U.S.
CPV systems uses lenses to concentrate sunlight on high efficiency cells which results in a higher overall efficiency and a smaller footprint. According to the National Renewable Energy Lab, efficiencies of up to 40% are possible. This compares favourably with the efficiencies of the more common crystalline silicon (around 20-25%) or thin film cadmium telluride cells (around 15%).
“Locating renewable projects on impacted land is a great way to redevelop the land,” Gov. Richardson said. “I am pleased that Questa, and Chevron Mining and Chevron Technology – will contribute to New Mexico’s solar production and help us build a strong clean energy economy. This makes economic and environmental sense.”
“Chevron’s demonstration solar project converts a contaminated property into a productive site that will benefit for the green energy it produces,” said Ron Curry, Cabinet Secretary for New Mexico Environment Department. “We look forward to working with Chevron on this project to ensure there are no adverse impacts to human health, wildlife and the environment.”