Duke Energy Renewables, a commercial business unit of Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), has acquired the development assets associated with the 60-megawatt (MW) Palmer Solar project in El Paso County, Colorado, from juwi Americas, a renewable energy company based in Boulder.
The project, which contains more than 200,000 solar panels, is being built on land south of Colorado Springs. With this addition, Duke Energy Renewables has two solar projects in Colorado totaling more than 70 MW.
“We’re pleased to continue expanding our solar footprint in Colorado,” said Rob Caldwell, president of Duke Energy Renewables. “The Palmer Solar project is another positive step toward Gov. Polis’ dedication of moving the state’s electric grid to 100% renewable sources by 2040.”
The Palmer Solar project is being developed in partnership with Colorado Springs Utilities, whose customers will receive the energy the facility generates under a 20-year agreement. This is the largest solar project contracted by Colorado Springs Utilities to date and the first solar project to interconnect with Colorado Springs Utilities’ transmission system.
“We are committed to offering our customers a clean, more diverse and affordable energy portfolio to power homes and businesses,” said Aram Benyamin, Colorado Springs Utilities CEO. “The Palmer Solar project is one of the latest examples 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.”
The Palmer Solar project will generate enough energy to power approximately 19,000 homes per year.
“We’re thrilled to work with Duke Energy to bring additional clean generation to Colorado Springs,” said Michael Martin, president of juwi Americas. “We’re grateful that the Colorado Springs Utilities Board had the vision for this type of project and for the support received from Woodmoor Water & Sanitation and El Paso County’s local officials. These efforts have elevated Colorado to the national stage of renewable energy development and investment.”
The Palmer Solar project will create jobs and deliver property tax revenues to El Paso County. Property tax revenues to the county are estimated to be approximately $5.2 million throughout the life of the project. The project workforce will employ as many as 200 individuals during the peak construction period.
Duke Energy Renewables entered into an engineering, construction and procurement (EPC) agreement with juwi for the construction of the project. juwi, through its subsidiary JSI Construction Group, is overseeing the construction of the project, which began in the first quarter of 2019.
Duke Energy Renewables anticipates construction of the Palmer Solar project to be complete by the end of the year.
Duke Energy is one of the nation’s top renewable energy providers – on track to own or purchase 8,000 MW of wind, solar and biomass energy by 2020.