Officials from Colorado Springs Utilities and NextEra Energy Resources joined local community leaders on Oct. 21 to celebrate the commissioning of the 10-MW Clear Spring Ranch Solar Array, located south of Colorado Springs.
“This project helps Colorado Springs Utilities meet its renewable energy commitments and diversify its energy production portfolio, while enjoying the economic advantages of solar power,” said Matt Handel, vice president of Development for NextEra Energy Resources. “Gov. Hickenlooper and the state Legislature deserve a lot of credit for creating a supportive environment and policies for the cost-effective deployment of renewable resources.”
The 10-MW single-axis array features approximately 42,000 solar panels. A subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources developed and built the ground-mounted solar array and will own, operate and maintain it over the term of a 25-year agreement with Colorado Springs Utilities. Colorado Springs Utilities will continue to own the Clear Spring Ranch land.
“This is a very exciting project for us in that it is our first utility-scale solar array. All of our customers will benefit from this clean, renewable energy generated right here in the Pikes Peak region,” said Colorado Springs Utilities CEO Jerry Forte. “This array also moves us significantly closer to achieving our Energy Vision, which requires 20 percent of our total electric energy be produced through renewable sources by 2020.”
The Clear Spring Ranch project created approximately 100 jobs during the construction phase, and is expected to generate approximately $1 million in property taxes over its life.
NextEra Energy Resources, together with its affiliated entities, is the world’s largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun. It is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Fla.-based NextEra Energy (NYSE: NEE).