SunEdison, the world’s largest renewable energy developer, announced Thursday that it had closed financing and begun construction on a 156 MW solar project in Colorado.
According to the company’s announcement, financing of $253 million was reached and construction initiated on the 156 MW Comanche Solar project set to be developed in Pueblo, Colorado. Upon completion the project will be the largest solar power plant east of the Rocky Mountains, generating more than 300 GWh worth of electricity a year, which is the equivalent of enough to power nearly 30,000 local homes. On top of that, the Comanche Solar project will displace more than 478 million pounds of carbon dioxide, which is the equivalent of taking more than 45,000 passenger vehicles off the road.
“The Comanche Solar project demonstrates SunEdison’s ability to deliver renewable energy at a price competitive with conventional resources,” said Paul Gaynor, SunEdison executive vice president for EMEA and the Americas. “In addition, the Comanche Solar project will be financed through SunEdison’s $1.5 billion non-recourse, First Reserve Warehouse. This facility is designed to expand as projects move into construction without incremental equity contributions by SunEdison.”
The electricity generated by the Comanche Solar project will be purchased by Public Service Company of Colorado, a subsidiary of Xcel Energy, under a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement.
“SunEdison, through the Comanche Solar project, is helping move us in the right direction,” said David Eves, president of Public Service Company of Colorado, an Xcel Energy company. “It demonstrates that large-scale solar power can play an increasingly larger role in our customers’ energy future at a competitive price point. Our participation in this project demonstrates that Xcel Energy is committed to providing customers the clean energy they want, at an affordable price.”
Construction has since begun, and will be managed by Renewable Energy Systems Americas. SunEdison acquired the Comanche Solar project in 2014 from the original developer, Boulder, Colorado-based Community Energy, and hopes for commercial operation to begin during the first half of 2016.
The news follows several intense weeks for the world’s largest renewable energy project developer. After seeing its shares tumble after its second quarter financials were published, SunEdison followed up with the creation of a $1 billion warehouse investment vehicle that it hopes will take some of the pressure off as it continues its acquisition process. In that vein, SunEdison announced last week that it intends to form a joint-venture with Dominion around the 420 MW Four Brothers solar project in Utah.