SunEdison buys 156-MW solar project from Community Energy

SunEdison Inc. (NYSE: SUNE) announced July 24 its acquisition of the 156-MW (dc) Comanche Solar project in Colorado from renewable energy developer Community Energy.

SunEdison is partnering with Community Energy to complete the final development stage of the project by structuring the financing and providing procurement expertise for the project, following which SunEdison will manage the construction, operation, and maintenance of the solar power plant.

Construction will begin in 2015 with commercial operation targeted for early 2016. The Comanche Solar project is one of the TerraForm Power call right projects, whereby TerraForm, a “yieldco” created by SunEdison, has the option (but not the obligation) to purchase the project from SunEdison once it achieves commercial operation.

Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) will buy electricity from the solar photovoltaic (PV) plant under a 25-year power purchase agreement with SunEdison at rates that are competitive with the long-term forecast for natural gas-fired generation.

“This large-scale Comanche Solar generating facility will deliver clean, renewable energy for our customers at a price that is right,” said David Eves, president and CEO of Xcel’s Public Service Co. of Colorado subsidiary. “Solar energy is an increasingly important part of our energy future and it is clear that many of our customers and fellow Colorado citizens share that belief.”

“The Comanche Solar project represents a new era for utility scale solar,” said Eric Blank, President of Community Energy.

“Solar energy is now an economical choice for utilities across America,” said Bob Powell, president, North America at SunEdison.

The 900-acre solar power plant will be comprised of more than 400,000 SunEdison high efficiency mono-crystalline PV modules. Once operational, the facility will be managed by the SunEdison Renewable Operation Center, which provides global 24/7 asset management, monitoring and reporting services.

SunEdison manufactures solar technology and develops, finances, installs and operates distributed solar power plants. It has offices in North America, Europe, Latin America, Africa, India and Asia.

Since its inception in 1999, Community Energy has led the development and construction of more than 800 MW of wind and solar generating facilities. With offices in Boulder, Colo., and headquarters in Radnor, Pa., Community Energy has a strong presence in both western and eastern renewable energy markets.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.