The Delta County Board of Commissioners approved a limited-use permit required to install and operate an 80-MW solar project in Southern Delta County, Colorado. When complete, the proposed Garnet Mesa Solar will produce more than 194,000 MWh of electricity each year, enough energy for 18,000 homes.
Delta-Montrose Electric Association (DMEA) will purchase a portion of the energy produced by the solar farm and Guzman Energy will offtake the rest as a power supply to serve additional wholesale customers.
“We are thrilled with the Delta County Board of Commissioners’ unanimous decision to approve the limited use permit to install and operate the Garnet Mesa Solar project. We are grateful for the time and attention the community and County officials gave to the process,” said Robin Lunt, chief strategy officer at Guzman Energy.
The Garnet Mesa Solar project team will now focus on the next phases of engineering and procurement planning. Construction resource and timing details will be announced following those engineering and procurement planning cycles. The land secured for Garnet Mesa Solar farm construction is currently irrigated and used for livestock grazing, and will continue to after construction of the array is complete.
Approximately 1,000 sheep will handle grazing and vegetation management on the solar farm.
“With the Commissioners’ approval, we are one step closer to securing a significant amount of local affordable energy. Together, with Guzman Energy, we are driving rate stability for our members,” said Kent Blackwell, interim CEO and chief technology officer at DMEA. “We are confident Garnet Mesa Solar will be a premier example of agriculture and energy co-existing together.”
Garnet Mesa is predicted to employ 350 to 400 people and generate approximately $13 million in tax revenue over 15 years. The project will push DMEA to 20% of local power generation.
The Garnet Mesa Solar project team is comprised of Guzman Energy, DMEA and Citra Power. The Citra team has significant expertise in renewable energy development, technical engineering, EPC management and oversight, project and portfolio acquisitions and wholesale power procurement.
News item from Guzman Energy