Xcel Energy and Lightsource bp announced the development of a new 298-megawatt solar farm in Pueblo, Colorado. The project is Lightsource bp’s second in the city with power sales to Xcel, representing a cumulative half billion-dollar private investment in Colorado’s clean power infrastructure.
Lightsource bp will finance, build, own and operate the facility and deliver the solar energy it generates to Xcel Energy under a long-term power purchase agreement. Construction of the project is expected to begin before the end of 2021.
“Lightsource bp is continuing to expand our investment in Colorado’s clean power future. As long-term members of the Pueblo community, we are thrilled this project will further contribute to the local jobs ecosystem and tax base while delivering cost-effective renewable energy for decades to come.”
Kevin Smith, CEO, Lightsource bp
Alice Jackson, president of Xcel Energy--Colorado: “Xcel Energy is thrilled to be working with Lightsource bp on another major solar project in Pueblo that adds even more renewable energy to our system, while also creating jobs in the community. This collaboration is a win for Pueblo and for the State of Colorado and demonstrates our commitment to the communities as we lead the energy transition. We will continue to explore new and innovative projects that benefit our customers.”
The Sun Mountain Solar farm will abate 404,080 tons of CO2 annually, the equivalent of taking over 87,000 cars off the road each year. Additionally, the project will create 300 jobs during construction, to be filled mainly by locals.
The Sun Mountain power purchase agreement complements Xcel Energy’s broader Colorado Energy Plan to deliver 55% renewable energy to the grid and reduce carbon emissions 60% by 2026. It also supports Colorado’s clean energy goal to reduce emissions statewide 26% by 2025, 50% by 2030, and 90% by 2050 – creating cleaner and healthier communities across Colorado while contributing to local economies.
Will Toor, Executive Director, Colorado Energy Office: “The Sun Mountain Solar farm illustrates yet again thoughtful partnerships that continue to deliver on jobs and clean infrastructure in Southern Colorado. Our state boasts 300 days of sunshine each year and I’m excited to see the regional collaboration occurring to capture our state’s great natural resources. These and other recent projects within the region are meaningful initiatives to meet state’s ambitious greenhouse gas emissions goals, all while creating cleaner and healthier communities – and contributing to the local economy.”
Bighorn Solar, Lightsource bp’s first Pueblo project powering the EVRAZ Rocky Mountain Steel mill, provides an additional 300MW of solar-generated electricity to Xcel Energy. In total, the two projects will contribute $48 million in property tax payments to Pueblo over their lifespan. And at both the Sun Mountain and Bighorn solar farms, Lightsource bp is installing and conserving in total over 3,000 acres of shortgrass prairie, creating habitat for wildlife while bolstering the sites’ ability to sequester carbon.
Nick Gradisar, Mayor of Pueblo, Colorado: “I am thrilled that Lightsource bp is once again partnering with Xcel Energy on the Sun Mountain Solar field in Pueblo. The construction jobs will greatly benefit Pueblo and the surrounding community, and the end product will help reduce our carbon footprint. Pueblo is quickly becoming the renewable energy center of Colorado and Lightsource bp is one of the reasons why.”
About Xcel Energy
Xcel Energy provides the energy that powers millions of homes and businesses across eight Western and Midwestern states. Headquartered in Minneapolis, the company is an industry leader in responsibly reducing carbon emissions and producing and delivering clean energy solutions from a variety of renewable sources at competitive prices.
About Lightsource bp
Lightsource bp is a global leader in the development and management of solar energy projects, and a 50:50 joint venture with bp. Our purpose is to deliver affordable and sustainable solar power for businesses and communities around the world. Our team includes over 500 industry specialists, working across 15 countries. We provide full scope development for our projects, from initial site selection, financing and permitting through to long-term management of solar projects and power sales to our clients. Lightsource bp in the U.S. is headquartered in San Francisco with development offices in Denver, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Austin.