SunEdison closed financing and has begun construction on one of its largest solar power plants to date, the 156 MW DC / 120 MW AC Comanche Solar project in Pueblo, Colo. When completed, the Comanche Solar project will be the largest solar power plant east of the Rocky Mountains and the largest in Colorado. The power plant is expected to produce more than 300 GWh of energy a year, enough to power approximately 30,000 Colorado homes. The solar power plant will avoid the emission of more than 478 million pounds of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of taking more than 45,000 passenger vehicles off the road.
“The Comanche Solar project demonstrates SunEdison’s ability to deliver renewable energy at a price competitive with conventional resources,” said Paul Gaynor, SunEdison executive vice president for EMEA and the Americas. “In addition, the Comanche Solar project will be financed through SunEdison’s $1.5 billion non-recourse, First Reserve Warehouse. This facility is designed to expand as projects move into construction without incremental equity contributions by SunEdison.”
Public Service Company of Colorado, a subsidiary of Xcel Energy with more than 1.4 million customers, will purchase electricity generated by the solar power plant under a 25-year PPA with SunEdison. The power contract was awarded as part of an open solicitation where Comanche Solar was selected as preferred to other forms of energy, including natural gas.
“SunEdison, through the Comanche Solar project, is helping move us in the right direction. It demonstrates that large-scale solar power can play an increasingly larger role in our customers’ energy future at a competitive price point,” said David Eves, president of Public Service Company of Colorado, an Xcel Energy company. “Our participation in this project demonstrates that Xcel Energy is committed to providing customers the clean energy they want, at an affordable price.”
Construction has commenced on the project and will be managed by Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc. (RES), based in Broomfield, Colo., a leader in the development, engineering, and construction of wind, solar, transmission and energy storage projects.
“RES is pleased to continue our partnership with SunEdison,” said Andrew Fowler, Chief Operating Officer, RES. “Colorado has demonstrated a commitment to remain a leader in renewable energy. The Comanche Solar project will be RES’ second large scale renewable energy project in this state and our sixth cooperative project with SunEdison. Together we are creating jobs, reducing emissions, and delivering economic benefits to local communities.”
SunEdison acquired Comanche Solar in 2014 from the original developer, Community Energy, based in Boulder, Colo. The solar power plant is expected to be completed during the first half of 2016. Wells Fargo is providing tax equity for the project.
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— Solar Builder magazine