Sangre de Cristo Electric Association Inc. (SDCEA) has announced the commercial operations of the 2 MW Trout Creek Solar facility, located on the Colorado Department of Corrections’ Buena Vista Correctional Complex property.
Trout Creek Solar will generate approximately 4.7% of SDCEA’s annual energy usage. SDCEA provides electricity to approximately 13,000 consumers in the mountains of central Colorado.
Additionally, 310 SDCEA consumers are participating in private solar production determined by net metering. Including consumer net metering output, more than 7% of SDCEA’s power will be from locally produced renewable energy.
Tri-State Generation and Transmission, SDCEA’s wholesale power provider, obtains about 30% of its energy mix from renewable sources, including solar, hydro and wind sources. Combined with the percentages above, about 40% of SDCEA’s power supply will be provided by renewable sources.
Trout Creek Solar’s array will generate about 5,752 MWh, or enough electricity to supply about 685 typical SDCEA consumer homes in a year. SDCEA has chosen a sun-tracking system to maximize the output of the array, given that it is located in a mountain valley.
Trout Creek Solar was approved for construction at the end of August, when SDCEA signed a 36-year site license agreement after 13 months of negotiations with the Colorado Department of Corrections.
Global wind and solar company juwi Inc. was commissioned by SDCEA to build the solar facility. SDCEA will purchase all the power generated from the project.
Once final construction cost data is reviewed on the project, details of a potential community solar carve-out will be developed.