Lightsource bp has placed into commercial operation its 293 MWdc Sun Mountain solar project in Pueblo, Colorado. The project was developed along with Xcel Energy and McCarthy Building Companies.
This is Lightsource bp’s second solar project in Pueblo with power sales to Xcel, representing a cumulative $500 million private investment in Colorado’s clean power infrastructure. The Sun Mountain project was part of Xcel Energy’s 2018 resource plan and supports the company’s current Colorado Energy Plan that is expected to provide electricity from approximately 80% renewable sources and reduce carbon emissions 85% by 2030, while maintaining affordable and reliable service for customers.
“We are excited to complete another major solar project in Pueblo with Lightsource bp, adding even more renewable energy to our system,” said Robert Kenney, president of Xcel Energy — Colorado. “This collaboration benefits the community, the state and all our customers by bringing more clean, low-cost energy to our system, while meeting our commitment to our communities as we lead the clean energy transition.”
Lightsource bp has financed and will own and operate Sun Mountain, delivering the solar generated electricity to Xcel Energy under a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA). At both Lightsource bp solar farms in Pueblo, the Sun Mountain and Bighorn Solar projects, the company has installed and is conserving in total over 3,000 acres of shortgrass prairie, creating habitat for wildlife while bolstering the sites’ ability to sequester carbon.
“As long-term members of the Pueblo community, we look forward to delivering affordable clean energy for decades while continuing to expand our investment in Colorado to help power the state’s low carbon future,” said Kevin Smith, CEO of Lightsource bp, Americas. “What’s really exciting is that this progress toward healthier communities is also creating new career opportunities for Americans and boosting local economies.”
Sun Mountain Solar created hundreds of U.S. jobs across the supply chain, while supporting domestic manufacturers and low carbon products. More than 400 people worked on-site to build the facility, about 200 of which were hired from the local community. McCarthy Building Companies was engineer, procure and construct (EPC) contractor for the project which included installation of 636,990 ultra-low carbon solar panels manufactured by Arizona-based First Solar and smart solar trackers manufactured by New Mexico-based Array Technologies. McCarthy has a proven track record of successfully building large utility-scale projects in Colorado and across the U.S., including Lightsource bp’s Bighorn Solar project also in Pueblo.
“Colorado has made clear its desire to be at the forefront of developing and delivering renewable energy,” Justin Peterson, VP of operations, McCarthy Renewable Energy & Storage. “Sun Mountain brings us another step closer to that goal while also generating hundreds of clean energy jobs within the state, many of which result in longer term career builders.”
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