TAOS, N.M.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--On October 18, 2023, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) selected Kit Carson Electric Cooperative (KCEC) to receive $23 million ($15.4 million in Federal funding and $7.7 million in Recipient cost share) to enhance the U.S. power grid's ability to deliver affordable, clean energy to American communities across northern New Mexico. The funds will advance the Building a Modern, Intelligent Distributed BESS for Resiliency in Northern New Mexico project to mitigate the impacts of extreme weather and strengthen grid reliability.
“Extreme weather events fueled by climate change will continue to strain the nation’s aging transmission systems, but President Biden’s Investing in America agenda will ensure America’s power grid can provide reliable, affordable power,” said U.S Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Today’s announcement represents the largest-ever direct investment in critical grid infrastructure, supporting projects that will harden systems, improve energy reliability and affordability—all while generating union jobs for highly skilled workers.”
“Our community members have experienced the pain that comes from extreme weather events like wildfires, and the adverse impact they can have on our electricity distribution system,” said Luis A. Reyes, Jr., CEO of KCEC. “We are thrilled that the DOE is being responsive to our need to bring enhanced resiliency to our local grid, including distributed power generation and storage capabilities to ensure reliable electricity for our community members.”
Due to the rural, geographically and demographically diverse nature of its service territory, KCEC is especially vulnerable to impacts of power outages across the region from threat of wildfire, extreme drought, and high wind events. With this new grant, KCEC will deploy Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) and microgrid capabilities to three locations. Those locations are Picuris Pueblo, Taos Ski Valley and El Rito West. The project will allow KCEC to perform public safety power shutoffs while maintaining critical power loads and services locally. KCEC partners with Guzman Energy for wholesale power and energy management services that emphasize resilient, local distributed power and storage.
The funds are part of the Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships (GRIP) Program, which seeks to enhance grid flexibility and improve the resilience of the power system against growing threats of extreme weather and climate change. Funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and administered by DOE’s Grid Deployment Office, the GRIP program leverages federal and private investments to ensure that communities across the nation have a reliable grid that's prepared for extreme weather while also delivering affordable, clean energy and creating robust local opportunities for economic investment and jobs.
To learn more, visit KCEC’s website and the Grid Deployment Office’s website.
About Kit Carson Electric Cooperative
Formed in 1944, Kit Carson is a member owned electric distribution cooperative in northern New Mexico and is the second largest cooperative in the state. Kit Carson is one of 16 electric cooperatives that serve rural New Mexico communities, serving nearly 30,000 members in Taos, Colfax and Rio Arriba counties. To learn more about Kit Carson, visit www.kitcarson.com.