COLORADO SPRINGS — Colorado Springs Utilities have two new solar projects underway and by the end of 2019, they'll add enough solar energy to its system to power 30,000 homes annually. The Palmer Solar Project, located southeast of Colorado Springs, and the Grazing Yak Solar Project, located near Calhan, Colo., will help change the way the utility powers the Pikes Peak region for decades while reducing its carbon emissions.
Both projects are being developed in partnership with private entities. Duke Energy Renewables recently acquired the Palmer Solar Project from juwi Americas. Colorado Springs Utilities will purchase the energy through a 20-year power purchase agreement to serve its 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.
Aram Benyamin, Springs Utilities CEO, says, "We are committed to offering our customers a clean, more diverse and affordable energy portfolio to power homes and businesses.” “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.”
The utility expects 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 Springs Utilities’ solar generation portfolio to more than 264 megawatts. At this time, it is the largest energy storage facility announced in Colorado.