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Lightsource bp developing another 300-MW solar project in Colorado

Written by: Leonard Parker | Solar News | 27th October

Lightsource bp is developing a new 298-MW solar farm in Pueblo, Colorado, the company’s second project in the city.

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,” said Kevin Smith, CEO, Lightsource bp, Americas. “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.”

The Sun Mountain Solar farm will create 300 jobs during construction, to be filled mainly by local labor.

“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,” said Alice Jackson, president of Xcel Energy, Colorado. “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 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.

“The Sun Mountain Solar farm illustrates yet again thoughtful partnerships that continue to deliver on jobs and clean infrastructure in Southern Colorado,” said Will Toor, executive director of the Colorado Energy Office. “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 300 MW 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.

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.

“I am thrilled that Lightsource bp is once again partnering with Xcel Energy on the Sun Mountain Solar field in Pueblo,” said Pueblo Mayor Nick Gradisar. “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.”

News item from Lightsource bp