Colorado Springs invests in sun power

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A Boulder contractor, juwi Inc., broke ground earlier this month on the 60-megawatt Palmer Solar Project on 500 acres east of Colorado Springs Utilities’ Clear Springs Ranch, 10 miles south of the city.

Due online next year, it’s one of three solar projects that will up the city’s solar power generating capacity by 245 megawatts.

NextEra Energy Resources begins constructing a 35-megawatt array this summer at a 270-acre site near Calhan, called the Grazing Yak Project, due to hook to Utilities’ grid later this year.

A third array, Pike Solar Project, will be built around the Palmer Solar Project and include battery storage, adding 150 megawatts of solar power. It’s due for completion in 2023.

Utilities’ interest in solar power coincides with plans to shutter the 200-megawatt downtown Drake Power Plant, fired by coal, by 2035, though some Utilities Board members want an earlier date.

Meantime, Gov. Jared Polis is to appear May 30 at JeffCo Community Solar Garden, built by SunShare, a company that originated in Colorado Springs, to sign several bills adopted by the 2019 General Assembly that focus on renewable energy. 

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