Monday, April 4, 2016

Utilities moves to add solar

Posted By on Mon, Apr 4, 2016 at 2:02 PM

click to enlarge Solar panels like these will soon go up 10 miles south of the city at Clear Springs Ranch.
  • Solar panels like these will soon go up 10 miles south of the city at Clear Springs Ranch.
Colorado Springs Utilities will hold a news conference on Tuesday about the ground-breaking of a solar array at its Clear Springs Ranch, after at first cooperating and then backing out of a similar project with Colorado College two years ago.

Here's the news release: 
More renewable energy is headed to Colorado Springs. Thanks to a new solar array, Colorado Springs Utilities will add enough clean, renewable power to its generation later this year to serve approximately 3,000 homes annually.

This project will feature a 10-megawatt, single-axis solar array to be built on Colorado Springs Utilities’ Clear Spring Ranch campus, located on about 156 acres south of the city. For context, this project will be about twice as large as the Air Force Academy solar array in northern Colorado Springs.

“This is a very exciting project for us in that it is our first solar array that is truly for the benefit of all our customers,” said Colorado Springs Utilities CEO Jerry Forte.

The array will help diversify the community’s energy supply and provide long-term compliance with the 10-percent renewable energy requirement as stated in the Colorado Renewable Energy Standard. It also moves Colorado Springs Utilities significantly closer to its own Energy Vision, which requires 20 percent of our total electric energy be produced through renewable sources by 2020.

Last year’s extension of the Solar Renewable Energy Credits was a determining factor for the approval of this project. This state legislation provides municipal utilities with a three-time multiplier for solar projects that were under contract for development by July 31, 2015, and producing energy prior to Dec. 31, 2016.

The project will be built, owned and operated by NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, with the power being sold to Colorado Springs Utilities under a 25-year contract starting in 2016.

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