Public Service Company of New Mexico says the 78,000 solar panels, located on an 80-acre site along the Columbus Highway just south of Deming, are capable of using the sun's rays to generate enough electricity for about 1,600 average-sized homes.
The center began producing power on August 3rd, 2011.
With the expansion, another 60,000 solar panels will be added by November, boosting the plant's capacity to 9 megawatts capable of producing the electricity used by 2,800 homes.
Utility officials estimate that the plan will reduce carbon emissions by more than 8,300 tons a year. That's the equivalent of removing 1,575 cars from the road.
PNM Director Gary Barnard said the expansion should create temporary construction jobs here and provide thousands of dollars of additional tax revenue for Luna County during the first year of operation.
First Solar of Tempe, Arizona, manufactured the panels and will oversee the expansion.
PNM began grading the site in January in preparation for panel installation this summer.
In addition to expanding the Deming center, PNM also plans to expand its plant in Los Lunas and build two new solar generating stations near Tularosa and in Valencia County to meet state renewable energy requirements.