US ROUND-UP: Lightsource bp to build 298MW Colorado project, Facebook signs solar PPA


Lightsource energised the Bighorn Solar project (pictured) in Colorado earlier this month. Image: Lightsource bp.

A round-up of the latest news from the US solar market, including a new Lightsource bp project in Colorado, CenterPoint’s PV expansion in Indiana and another solar power purchase agreement (PPA) from Facebook.

Lightsource bp developing 298MW plant in Colorado

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27 October: Lightsource bp is to develop a 298MW solar PV project in the Colorado city of Pueblo that will deliver power to US utility Xcel Energy under a long-term PPA.

The developer will finance, build, own and operate the Sun Mountain Solar farm, with construction due to begin by the end of 2021.

The collaboration comes weeks after Lightsource energised the 300MW Bighorn Solar plant in Pueblo, which is supplying power to a steel mill through an arrangement with Xcel Energy.

As part of efforts to reach 100% carbon-free electricity across its service area by 2050, Xcel is planning to add up to 2.9GW of additional solar in Colorado by 2030.

CenterPoint gets approval for 400MW of solar in Indiana

27 October: US utility CenterPoint Energy has received approval from Indiana authorities to acquire a 300MW PV project and enter into a PPA for an additional 100MW of solar in the state.

Having requested approval from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) earlier this year, CenterPoint has now entered into an agreement with renewables construction services provider Arevon Energy Management, which is developing the 300MW plant alongside energy company Tenaska.

The utility has also been given the green light to purchase power from a 100MW portion of an array that developer Clēnera is bringing forward in Warrick County. Both projects are expected to be operational by 2023.

Alongside these deals, CenterPoint is also seeking IURC approval to procure 335MW of generating capacity from two solar projects currently under development in Indiana.

Facebook signs PPA for 160MWac plant in Virginia

25 October: Solar developer and operator D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments (DESRI) has signed a PPA with Facebook for a 160MWac solar project in Virginia.

Currently under development by DESRI in partnership with Torch Clean Energy, the Chester Solar plant will help to power Facebook data centres.

DESRI, which last week closed financing for a 149MWac PV project in Michigan, said its partnership with Facebook now totals 650MWac of contracted and operational clean power projects across the US.

Dominion Energy, Invenergy switch on Ohio plant

26 October: A 150MWac solar project in Ohio that US utility Dominion Energy acquired from developer Invenergy earlier this year has now been brought online.

Developed and constructed by Invenergy, the Hardin I Solar Energy Center is contracted under a PPA with Facebook that was signed prior to the project’s construction. Facebook will purchase all the electricity generated at the facility as well as the renewable energy credits.

Invenergy Services, a subsidiary of Invenergy, will provide the plant’s operations and maintenance services under a long-term agreement.

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