By the end of this year, we will add enough solar energy to our system to power 35,000 homes annually thanks to two projects currently under construction.
The Palmer Solar Project, located southeast of Colorado Springs, and the Grazing Yak Solar Project, located near Calhan, Colo., will help change the way we power the Pikes Peak region for decades while reducing our carbon emissions.
Both projects are being developed in partnership with private entities. Duke Energy Renewables recently acquired the Palmer Solar Project from juwi Americas. juwi is constructing and will commission the array and we will purchase the energy through a 20-year power purchase agreement to serve our customers.
As for the Grazing Yak Solar Project, Springs Utilities will purchase the energy from NextEra Energy Resources through a 25-year power purchase agreement.
“We are committed to offering our customers a clean, more diverse and affordable energy portfolio to power homes and businesses,” said Aram Benyamin, Colorado Springs Utilities CEO. “These projects are the latest examples of how we are partnering with private entities to take advantage of the economics and environmental benefits of solar power.”
Work is underway to finalize contract negotiations for a third solar project to include a 25-megawatt energy storage system. This project will be commissioned by the end of 2023, bringing our solar generation portfolio to more than 264 megawatts. At this time, it is the largest energy storage facility announced in Colorado.
The Grazing Yak Solar Project is being constructed near Calhan on the site of the Golden-West Wind Farm.
The Palmer Solar Project is about 70% constructed. Both solar projects will come online by the end of this year.