Just days before the winter solstice, the darkest moment of the year that heralds the endless energy of the sun, Picuris Pueblo went solar.
Officials from Picuris Pueblo, along with other administrators, contractors and members of the local electric cooperative, flipped the switch on the tribe’s 1-megawatt solar array during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Dec. 18.
“Look at it in the scheme of things. Picuris is a small tribe, but one of the most sophisticated,” said Luis Reyes, CEO of Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, the utility company behind the efforts to generate 100 percent of daytime energy needs in the Taos County area by 2022.
“At the end of the day, we pulled it off,” Reyes said.
The solar project started several years ago with the idea of simply lowering electricity costs for tribal members. Now that the array is operational, there’s more than enough electricity being generated to power all of the tribe’s homes — about 110 of them, according to Picuris Pueblo Gov. Craig Quanchello.
Courtesy of The Santa Fe New Mexican