BELMONT, Calif. — SunEdison has closed financing and begun construction on one of its largest solar power plants to date, the 156 megawatt (MW) DC / 120 MW AC Comanche Solar project in Pueblo, Colo.
When completed, the Comanche Solar project will be the largest solar power plant east of the Rocky Mountains.
“The Comanche Solar project demonstrates SunEdison’s ability to deliver renewable energy at a price competitive with conventional resources,” said Paul Gaynor, SunEdison executive vice president for EMEA and the Americas. “In addition, the Comanche Solar project will be financed through SunEdison’s $1.5 billion non-recourse, First Reserve Warehouse. This facility is designed to expand as projects move into construction without incremental equity contributions by SunEdison.”
The Comanche solar power plant will be the largest in Colorado and is expected to produce more than 300 gigawatt-hours of energy a year, enough to power approximately 30,000 Colorado homes. The solar power plant will avoid the emission of more than 478 million pounds of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of taking more than 45,000 passenger vehicles off the road.
Public Service Company of Colorado, a subsidiary of Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) with more than 1.4 million customers, will purchase electricity generated by the solar power plant under a 25-year power purchase agreement with SunEdison. The power contract was awarded as part of an open solicitation where Comanche Solar was selected as preferred to other forms of energy, including natural gas.
“SunEdison, through the Comanche Solar project, is helping move us in the right direction. It demonstrates that large-scale solar power can play an increasingly larger role in our customers’ energy future at a competitive price point,” said David Eves, president of Public Service Company of Colorado, an Xcel Energy company. “Our participation in this project demonstrates that Xcel Energy is committed to providing customers the clean energy they want, at an affordable price.”
Construction has commenced on the project and will be managed by Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc. (RES), based in Broomfield, Colo., a leader in the development, engineering, and construction of wind, solar, transmission and energy storage projects.
“RES is pleased to continue our partnership with SunEdison,” said Andrew Fowler, Chief Operating Officer, RES. “Colorado has demonstrated a commitment to remain a leader in renewable energy. The Comanche Solar project will be RES’ second large scale renewable energy project in this state and our sixth cooperative project with SunEdison. Together we are creating jobs, reducing emissions, and delivering economic benefits to local communities.”
SunEdison acquired Comanche Solar in 2014 from the original developer, Community Energy, based in Boulder, Colo. The solar power plant is expected to be completed during the first half of 2016. Wells Fargo is providing tax equity for the project.
Operation and maintenance of the solar power plant will be performed by SunEdison Services, which provides global 24/7 asset management, monitoring and reporting services.
SunEdison is the world’s largest renewable energy development company and is transforming the way energy is generated, distributed, and owned around the globe. The company develops, finances, installs, owns and operates renewable power plants, delivering predictably priced electricity to its residential, commercial, government and utility customers. SunEdison is one of the world’s largest renewable energy asset managers and provides customers with asset management, operations and maintenance, monitoring and reporting services. Corporate headquarters are in the United States with additional offices and technology manufacturing around the world. SunEdison’s common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “SUNE.” To learn more visit www.sunedison.com.
Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) is a major U.S. electricity and natural gas company with regulated operations in eight Western and Midwestern states. Xcel Energy provides a comprehensive portfolio of energy-related products and services to 3.5 million electricity customers and 1.9 million natural gas customers through its regulated operating companies. Company headquarters are located in Minneapolis.
About First Reserve
First Reserve is the largest global private equity and infrastructure investment firm exclusively focused on energy. With over 30 years of industry insight, investment expertise and operational excellence, the Firm has cultivated an enduring network of global relationships and raised approximately USD $31 billion of aggregate capital since inception. Putting these to work, First Reserve has completed more than 550 transactions (including platform investments and add-on acquisitions) on six continents. Its portfolio companies span the energy spectrum from upstream oil and gas to midstream and downstream, including resources, equipment and services and infrastructure.
Since 1997, RES has been providing development, engineering, construction, and operations services to the utility-scale wind, solar, transmission, and energy storage markets across the Americas. The company employs more than 300 full-time professionals and has over 7,500 MW of utility-scale renewable energy and energy storage projects and constructed more than 650 miles of transmissions lines throughout the U.S., Canada, and Chile. RES’ corporate office in the U.S. is located in Broomfield, CO with regional offices located in Austin, TX, Minneapolis, MN, and San Francisco, CA. RES has developed and/or built over 9GW of renewable energy capacity worldwide, has an asset management portfolio exceeding 1GW, and is active in a range of renewable technologies including onshore wind, solar, energy storage, transmission, and demand side management.