DENVER — Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association and juwi announced a 25-year contract to supply the utility with renewable energy from the planned San Isabel Solar Project to be constructed in southern Colorado.
Tri-State will purchase the entire output of the 30-megawatt (MW) solar farm over the life of the contract. The facility is expected to come online in the 4th quarter of 2016.
The San Isabel Solar Project will consist of more than 100,000 photovoltaic solar panels resting on 250 acres of land in Las Animas County, located approximately 20 miles north of Trinidad, Colorado.
The project lies within the service territory of San Isabel Electric Association (SIEA), a Tri-State member system serving nearly 19,000 members and 24,000 meters in all or parts of seven counties in southern Colorado. Like Tri-State, SIEA is a not-for-profit, member-owned rural electric cooperative.
SIEA general manager Reg Rudolph commented on the project, “San Isabel Electric is very excited to work with juwi and Tri-State and honored they have selected our area for this solar farm. Southern Colorado is known for its energy development, and this project further develops renewable energy as a resource to serve our members. This project shows SIEA’s and Tri-State’s commitment to renewable energy and will also be a very positive development for the southern Colorado economy.”
This is the second renewable energy purchase agreement for Tri-State this year, following the June announcement of the 76-MW Twin Buttes II Wind Project south of Lamar, Colorado. In 2014, 24 percent of the energy Tri-State and its member systems delivered to cooperative members was generated from renewable resources – one of the top ratios among electric utilities nationwide. In February, the U.S. Department of Energy recognized Tri-State and SIEA as the 2014 Wind Cooperatives of the Year in the generation and transmission cooperative and the distribution cooperative categories, respectively.
“We have taken a steady, deliberate approach to integrating renewable resources, and it has paid off over time as we continue to build a generation fleet that remains cost-effective for our member systems,” said Brad Nebergall, Tri-State’s senior vice president of energy management. “The San Isabel Solar Project is rewarding because it represents a true partnership among Tri-State, SIEA and an innovative developer like juwi.”
“We are pleased to have developed San Isabel Solar in our home state of Colorado and are excited to now focus on our core business of building and operating the facility for many years to come,” said Michael Martin, juwi’s president and chief executive officer. “We appreciate the ongoing collaborative efforts of Tri-State, SIEA, Las Animas County, the landowners and other partners, which will enable us to supplement the current use of the rangeland property by building a power plant that will generate low-cost, clean energy for the region.”
The San Isabel Solar Project is Tri-State’s first utility-scale solar photovoltaic power purchase agreement in Colorado and the second in its resource portfolio. In 2010, Tri-State began receiving power from the 30-megawatt Cimarron Solar project in northern New Mexico.
Based in the Denver suburb of Westminster, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association is a not-for-profit wholesale power supplier to 44 electric cooperatives and public power districts serving approximately 1.5 million consumers throughout a 200,000 square-mile service territory across Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming. In 2015, Tri-State was recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy as Wind Cooperative of the Year.
About San Isabel Electric
As a not-for-profit cooperative utility, San Isabel Electric Association, Inc. provides electricity to rural communities throughout southern Colorado. Serving nearly 19,000 Member-owners and 24,000 meters, San Isabel Electric Association has been keeping the lights on since 1938.
juwi Inc., based in Boulder, Colorado, is a developer, engineering, procurement and construction contractor and operator of large-scale renewable energy generation facilities. juwi and its North American affiliates have developed and built approximately 200 megawatts of operating solar projects in the United States and over 100 megawatts of operating wind projects in the United States and Canada. juwi is wholly-owned by the leading German renewable energy company, juwi AG, which has developed and/or built over 1,500 renewable energy facilities worldwide.