Xcel Energy and SunPower Corp. have signed a purchasing agreement to develop a 50MW solar power plant in Colorado’s San Luis Valley. Upon completion the plant will generate enough electricity to power 13,500 average Colorado homes.
EPA estimates suggest show that the plant will offset the annual production of almost 127,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions, the equivalent of removing approximately 483,000 cars from Colorado’s roads over the next 20 years.
According to David Eves, President and CEO of Public Service Co. of Colorado, an Xcel Energy company:
“This expansion of our renewable portfolio in Colorado is yet another example of how Xcel Energy brings solar power to its customers in the right way. We are adding large scale solar that competes with and surpasses other forms of generation alternatives, in terms of price, over the life of the project. This benefits all of our customers – both environmentally and economically.”
The construction of the facility is contingent upon the project securing all of the proper permits, but should begin in 2015 and be fully operational by 2016. During peak construction an estimated 100 construction jobs will be created.
SunPower president Howard Wenger praised the project:
We congratulate Xcel Energy for providing leadership in the promotion of large scale solar power development, and for demonstrating how renewable technologies are part of the solution to ensure the health of our economy and our environment. SunPower’s high-efficiency solar PV technology is competitively-priced for power plant applications, fast to install, and reliably delivers clean power, particularly during peak demand hours.”