Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association is developing 8-megawatts of solar generation facilities in the distribution electric cooperative’s service territory in Northern Colorado.
Different than the PVREA community solar farms, the solar generation facilities will be directly tied into the cooperative’s distribution system and used as a local energy source, contributing to the local power mix for all PVREA members.
“PVREA strives to remain at the forefront of technology with the electric grid,” said CEO Jeff Wadsworth. “The community solar farm projects were successful, so we started researching additional renewable energy avenues that benefit our membership and the environment. These solar generation facilities help achieve the goals of providing affordable, renewable power from a local energy source.”
The generation facilities will require at least 100 acres of land to construct, which is about the size of 75 football fields. The facilities will produce electricity from approximately 35,000 solar panels, enough to power nearly 1,300 PVREA households. The locations were determined based upon local generation need in PVREA’s service territory and ease of connectivity into existing substations on the local distribution grid.
PVREA has entered into a 20-year contract with Silicon Ranch Corp., a Tennessee-based company, to purchase the power generated from the two generation facilities. Under the agreement, Silicon Ranch will own and operate the solar arrays and PVREA will purchase the energy and environmental attributes it produces at cost-competitive rates. The cooperative is currently working with Silicon Ranch on the engineering and permitting process of the project, with the goal of completing the project and delivering energy by the end of 2015.
“Solar is a responsible energy choice from both environmental and economic considerations, and Silicon Ranch is proud to help PVREA increase its diverse energy mix,” said Matt Kisber, president and CEO of Silicon Ranch. “As a long-term owner of our projects, we take great pride in being an excellent neighbor and active member in the communities where we do business and are excited about the benefits this project will bring to the region.”
PVREA is a member-owned, not-for-profit electric distribution cooperative serving more than 38,000 consumer-members in Boulder, Larimer and Weld counties in Northern Colorado. More information is available at www.pvrea.com.