SunEdison breaks ground on 156-MW solar project in Colorado

SunEdison, Inc. the world’s largest renewable energy development company, today announced it has closed financing and begun construction on one of its largest solar power plants to date, the 156-megawatt (MW) Comanche Solar project in Pueblo, Colo. When completed, the Comanche Solar project will be the largest solar power plant east of the Rocky Mountains.

“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 Comanche solar power plant will be the largest in Colorado and is expected to produce more than 300 gigawatt-hours of energy a year, enough to power approximately 30,000 Colorado homes, while avoiding the emission of more than 478 million pounds of carbon dioxide.

Public Service Company of Colorado, a subsidiary of Xcel Energy, will purchase electricity generated by the solar power plant under a 25-year power purchase agreement with SunEdison. The power contract was awarded as part of an open solicitation where Comanche Solar was selected as preferred to other forms of energy, including natural gas.

“SunEdison, through the Comanche Solar project, is helping move us in the right direction. It demonstrates that large-scale solar power can play an increasingly larger role in our customers’ energy future at a competitive price point,” said David Eves, president of Public Service Company of Colorado, an Xcel Energy company.

Construction has commenced on the project and will be managed by Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc. (RES), based in Broomfield, Colo., a leader in the development, engineering, and construction of wind, solar, transmission and energy storage projects.

SunEdison acquired Comanche Solar in 2014 from the original developer, Community Energy, based in Boulder, Colo. The solar power plant is expected to be completed during the first half of 2016. Wells Fargo is providing tax equity for the project.

Operation and maintenance of the solar power plant will be performed by SunEdison Services, which provides global 24/7 asset management, monitoring and reporting services.

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