Regional
4:12 pm
Tue April 19, 2011

Big Solar Plant Opens

Questa, NM – A subsidiary of oil giant Chevron Corp. and a sister company have completed one of the largest concentrating photovoltaic solar power plants in the nation at a tailings site in northern New Mexico.

Chevron Mining Inc. and Chevron Technology Ventures built the 1-megawatt demonstration plant at a molybdenum mine near Questa.

Officials gathered Tuesday to celebrate the project's completion.

The idea of using brownfields or other contaminated sites for renewable energy development has been picking up steam. Analysts have been looking at possible sites across the country.

The federal government also has been pushing to streamline development of solar projects on public land from Nevada to New Mexico.

Chevron officials say the Questa area is ideal for the project since it gets sunshine nearly 300 days out of the year.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.