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Tri-State and Juwi Sign Power Purchase Agreement for 30 Megawatt Solar Energy Project

published: 2015-09-02 11:49

Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc., a wholesale power supplier owned by 44 member electric cooperatives and public power districts, and juwi Inc., a Colorado-based renewable energy company, announced on September 1st a 25-year contract to supply the utility with renewable energy from the planned San Isabel Solar Project to be constructed in southern Colorado.

Tri-State will purchase the entire output of the 30-megawatt (MW) solar farm over the life of the contract. The facility is expected to come online in the 4th quarter of 2016.

The San Isabel Solar Project will consist of more than 100,000 photovoltaic solar panels resting on 250 acres of land in Las Animas County, located approximately 20 miles north of Trinidad, Colorado.

The project lies within the service territory of San Isabel Electric Association (SIEA), a Tri-State member system serving nearly 19,000 members and 24,000 meters in all or parts of seven counties in southern Colorado. Like Tri-State, SIEA is a not-for-profit, member-owned rural electric cooperative.

SIEA general manager Reg Rudolph commented on the project, "San Isabel Electric is very excited to work with juwi and Tri-State and honored they have selected our area for this solar farm. Southern Colorado is known for its energy development, and this project further develops renewable energy as a resource to serve our members. This project shows SIEA's and Tri-State's commitment to renewable energy and will also be a very positive development for the southern Colorado economy."

This is the second renewable energy purchase agreement for Tri-State this year, following the June announcement of the 76-MW Twin Buttes II Wind Project south of Lamar, Colorado. In 2014, 24 percent of the energy Tri-State and its member systems delivered to cooperative members was generated from renewable resources – one of the top ratios among electric utilities nationwide. In February, the U.S. Department of Energy recognized Tri-State and SIEA as the 2014 Wind Cooperatives of the Year in the generation and transmission cooperative and the distribution cooperative categories, respectively.

"We have taken a steady, deliberate approach to integrating renewable resources, and it has paid off over time as we continue to build a generation fleet that remains cost-effective for our member systems," said Brad Nebergall, Tri-State's senior vice president of energy management. "The San Isabel Solar Project is rewarding because it represents a true partnership among Tri-State, SIEA and an innovative developer like juwi."

"We are pleased to have developed San Isabel Solar in our home state of Colorado and are excited to now focus on our core business of building and operating the facility for many years to come," said Michael Martin, juwi's president and chief executive officer. "We appreciate the ongoing collaborative efforts of Tri-State, SIEA, Las Animas County, the landowners and other partners, which will enable us to supplement the current use of the rangeland property by building a power plant that will generate low-cost, clean energy for the region."

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