- Xcel Energy has agreed to buy the electricity from SunPower’s planned 50 megawatt San Luis Valley photovoltaic (PV) solar installation in Colorado.
- Xcel already purchases solar-generated electricity from SunPower’s 19-megawatt and 30-megawatt San Luis Valley PV projects.
- Permitting and financing have not yet been completed and terms of the power purchase agreement were undisclosed but construction is scheduled to be finished before the expiration of solar’s 30% investment tax credit on December 31, 2016.
This solar purchase continues Xcel Colorado’s emphasis on utility scale solar as it works to resolve its debate with solar advocates over the net energy metering incentive that is key to rooftop solar.
Xcel recently reached agreement with Colorado solar advocates that will allow its Solar*Rewards program to continue while the Colorado Public Utilities Commission reviews and approves the utility’s 2014 Renewable Energy Standard (RES) Plan. Under the agreement, Xcel’s Solar*Rewards program can add up to 20 megawatts of small solar and up to 7 megawatts of commercial scale solar.
Earlier this year, Xcel Energy announced a power purchase agreement for electricity from the 120 megawatt Comanche Solar project, the biggest solar installation ever proposed east of the Rocky Mountains, to be built in Colorado by Community Energy Solar.
Xcel's most recent IRP, approved by Colorado regulators in December 2013, includes the addition of 450 megawatts of wind, 317 megawatts of natural gas-fired generation, and 170 megawatts of utility scale PV solar.