Black Hills Energy agrees PPA for 200MW Colorado solar facility

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Image: Colorado Renewable Energy Society

Utility group Black Hills Energy has signed a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with solar energy company 174 Power Global for its first large-scale solar power project in Colorado, US.

174 Power Global, the US-based solar development arm of South Korean conglomerate Hanwha, will break ground on the 200MW Turkey Creek Solar facility in Pueblo County, Colorado, in 2022, with the project set to come online in 2023, according to a statement.

It is the first utility-scale solar project, and largest renewables project to-date, Black Hills has announced, as the utility begins to move away from coal-fired energy generation. The company has added three wind farms in the south of the state, with a total 150MW of generating capacity, after closing its last coal-fired power facility in the state nine years ago. Black Hills’ plan to develop the Tukey Creek Solar project was first announced earlier this year.

As part of the agreement, Black Hills will offtake all power generated by the project, which will result in more than half of the utility’s generation mix in Colorado will come from green energy sources.

Vance Crocker, the utility company’s vice president for Colorado, said the deal would “assure significant cost savings” for local residents, while helping to support the company’s plans to achieve an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from its Colorado generation operations by 2030.

174 Power Global will oversee the project’s realisation and will own and operate the facility on completion.

The Turkey Creek facility’s development is expected to cost more than US$200 million, and create between 250 and 450 jobs during the construction phase.

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