Thursday May 29, 2014 0 commentsDENVER - Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) and San Jose, Calif.-based Sunpower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) announced they have signed a power purchase agreement to build a 50MW solar photovoltaic plant in the San Luis Valley that will generate enough electricity to supply 13,500 homes.
Construction of the power plant is contingent on the project securing all necessary permits, interconnection rights and financing.
Sunpower said it expects to begin construction in 2015 with full operation by the end of 2016. The project is expected to create an estimated 100 jobs during peak construction.
"This expansion of our renewable portfolio in Colorado is yet another example of how Xcel Energy brings solar power to its customers in the right way," said David Eves, president and CEO of Public Service Company of Colorado, an Xcel company.
"We are adding large-scale solar that competes with and surpasses other forms of generation alternatives in terms of price over the life of the project. This benefits all of our customers, both environmentally and economically."
Sunpower will design and build a Sunpower Oasis Power Plant system on the 320-acre site. According to estimates by the EPA, the plant will offset the annual production of about 127,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions, or the equivalent of removing 483,000 cars from Colorado's roads over the next 20 years.
Sunpower has already constructed two solar plants in the San Luis Valley. With the new plant, enough power will be generated to power about 26,500 homes - roughly equivalent to the city of Littleton.