- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 13, 2015

DEMING, N.M. (AP) - A wholesale provider that serves rural electric cooperatives in four states has signed a contract to buy power from a planned solar farm in southern New Mexico.

Denver-based Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association says the contract calls for the Alta Luna Solar Project to provide it with 25 megawatts of electricity for 25 years.

The solar farm is expected to come online in December 2016. Its more than 108,000 photovoltaic solar panels will be located on a 220-acre site northeast of Deming.

Tri-State member Columbus Electric will receive power from Alta Luna. The co-op serves about 3,000 customers.

The Alta Luna project marks Tri-State’s second utility-scale solar purchase agreement in New Mexico. In 2010, the utility began receiving power from a 30-megawatt solar farm in Colfax County.

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