Xcel Energy and SunPower have signed a power purchase agreement to build a 50 MW solar PV power plant in Colorado’s San Luis Valley. Xcel Energy estimates that the plant will generate enough electricity to serve the needs of approximately 13,500 average Colorado homes.
Construction of the solar power plant is contingent on the project securing all required permits, interconnection rights and financing. SunPower expects to start construction in 2015 and to achieve full commercial operation by the end of 2016. An estimated 100 jobs will be created at peak construction.
At the 320-acre site, SunPower will design and build a SunPower Oasis Power Plant system. Oasis is a fully integrated, modular solar power block that is engineered to rapidly and cost-effectively deploy utility-scale solar projects while optimizing land use.
According to estimates provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the completed plant will offset the annual production of almost 127,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
SunPower previously constructed two solar power plants in the San Luis Valley that currently generate power for Xcel Energy’s Colorado customers. The 19-MW Greater Sandhill plant has been operating since 2010, and the 30-MW San Luis Valley Solar Ranch began delivering energy in 2011. By the end of 2016, it is expected that the three plants combined will generate enough solar power to serve approximately 26,500 Colorado homes.
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