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CAPE a case study 

Colorado and New Mexico Solar 

Canigou developing a pipeline of between 1GWp and 4.5GWp of solar projects in New Mexico and Colorado. The scale of each project is designed to match the current and projected future demands for energy.​ The projects are in an area of high solar intensity but benefit from being very near to significant part of the electrical transmission network, meaning there is ample scope top export this power to the grid. 

Why Colorado and New Mexico?

 

Reason 1: High Irradiation and  Untapped Potential  Studies define the most favourable belt for solar energy production to be between 15°N/S and 35°N/S. These regions have the greatest amount of solar radiation, more than 90% of which falls directly because of limited cloud coverage and rainfall. The selected sites lie within this optimum range. The sites average over 300 days of sunshine and have less than 14 inches or rain per year, and are located in the region of highest photovoltaic solar resources in the US. The landscape is a vast region of semi- arid desert, bordering between mountains and the high desert environments. The area has limited or is of no use for agriculture programs (unless under irrigation), has limited in grazing capabilities, and has a low population density, making it ideal for solar power.  

Reason 2: Sizeable Peak Demand and High Energy Pricing  The USA has a high price for electricity, when combined with high irradiation, this representing a very favourable opportunity for solar development. Average prices in the USA in 2019 were 37.4c per Kwh which is higher than the European average. With a strong manufacturing/industry fuelled economy and a sizeable peak demand in summer, due to energy intensive cooling and air conditioning systems, that matches perfectly with peak solar generation. 

Reason 3: Near significant network Infrastructure In order to connect the solar projects to the national electricity grid requires connection to the national transmission network. The USA is divided into three major parts, the Eastern, Western and Texas network branches. The site of our projects sit very close to the confluence of seven lines of the western branch.