Duke Energy Renewables, a commercial business unit of Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), and Colorado Springs Utilities (Springs Utilities) today announced the start of operation for a new solar energy generating facility, the Palmer Solar project.
Containing more than 220,000 solar panels on about 700 acres southeast of Colorado Springs, Colo., Palmer Solar will provide 60 megawatts of electricity to Springs Utilities’ customers. That is enough electricity to power approximately 22,000 homes per year. This is the largest solar project contracted by Springs Utilities to date and the first solar project to interconnect with its transmission system.
Under a 20-year agreement, Springs Utilities will purchase the electricity Palmer Solar generates from Duke Energy Renewables. The project was acquired by Duke Energy Renewables from juwi Americas in May 2019. With this addition, Duke Energy Renewables has two solar projects in Colorado totaling more than 70 megawatts.
The project can be seen in this video.
“We’re pleased to continue expanding our solar footprint in Colorado,” said Rob Caldwell, president of Duke Energy Renewables. “The Palmer Solar project will support the renewable energy goals of Colorado Springs Utilities and allow them to reduce energy costs for their customers while lowering carbon emissions for the state.”
“In light of our present challenges associated with COVID-19, our work continues to support our Energy Vision. We are steadfast in our mission to provide reliable and environmentally sustainable energy that reduces our carbon footprint,” said Aram Benyamin, Springs Utilities CEO. “The Palmer Solar project is the latest example of how we are partnering with entities to change the way we power Colorado Springs, taking advantage of the economics and environmental benefits of solar power.”
During peak construction, the Palmer Solar project employed as many as 200 individuals. It will also deliver property tax revenues of approximately $5.2 million throughout the life of the project to El Paso County.
Duke Energy is one of the nation’s top renewable energy providers and owns, operates and contracts more than 8,000 megawatts of capacity.
Springs Utilities has increased its renewable resources from 19 megawatts to 114 megawatts in the past six months.