El Paso Electric creates currents along the Rio Grande River. The utility transmits and distributes electricity to some 380,000 customers in West Texas and southern New Mexico. More than half of the company's sales come from its namesake city and nearby Las Cruces, New Mexico. The firm has 1,795 MW of nuclear, fossil-fuel, and wind-based generating capacity. El Paso Electric also purchases power from other utilities and marketers, and sells wholesale power in Texas and New Mexico, as well as in Mexico. Its largest customers include military installations (5% of 2011 revenues) such as Fort Bliss in Texas and White Sands Missile Range and Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico.
In 2011 about 45% of the company's energy capacity came from nuclear power, and 30% from natural gas.
A growth in customers and higher power demand (prompted by an improving economy and colder-than-usual winter weather) helped to lift revenues in 2011 by about 5% and net income by 3%.
To encourage conservation and a greener energy profile (to meet state and federal carbon emission regulations) El Paso Electric's Renewable Energy Program gives incentives to customers using power generated from renewable energy sources, such as geothermal, solar, and wind. The El Paso Solar Photovoltaic Pilot Program pays incentives to customers who install solar panels at their homes. In 2012 the company opened a 37kW solar installation to the rooftop of its corporate headquarters in downtown El Paso.
To keep up with a growing population, El Paso Electric is building new power plants. In 2012 it announced plans to open a $75 million expansion of its Rio Grande Power Station near El Paso, in 2013. It also plans to build a 176 MW natural gas-fired plant in El Paso. That unit is scheduled to begin producing power in 2014. – less