IBM Going Solar Under Xcel Energy’s Colorado Program

Xcel Energy recently announced the return of the utility’s Large Solar*Rewards program offering in Colorado by awarding a project to NextEra Energy Resources Acquisitions LLC, which will partner with IBM to build a 6 MW solar array at IBM’s facility in Boulder, Colo. Xcel Energy says it will make two more offerings under the program in 2018 and 2019 for up to 10 MW and 14 MW, respectively.

According to the utility, Xcel Energy issued a request for proposals (RFP) in July and received 15 bids from seven developers, with the winning bid based on price for the renewable energy credits.

“This is another example of Xcel Energy enabling the growth of renewable energy,” says David Eves, president of Xcel Energy – Colorado. “It’s also an example of providing customers individual control over their energy choices, a key component of the Our Energy Future initiative outlined in 2016.”

IBM, in partnership with developer NextEra, was awarded the entire release of Xcel Energy’s Solar*Rewards program and will build the ground-mounted, solar-tracking array on 54 acres of IBM property that was formerly being farmed. The fenced area around the array will become a grazing area for sheep. By installing the 6 MW array, IBM anticipates reducing emissions by as much as 5,900 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), which is equivalent to taking 1,300 cars off the road for a year.

“IBM has corporate objectives to reduce emissions and increase the use of renewable energy for its operations,” says Pete Lorenzen, IBM’s Boulder senior location executive. “IBM has also reiterated its support for the Paris Climate Agreement, a commitment by governments around the globe to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions. This project is another way IBM is taking action to achieve real results.”

According to Xcel Energy, the IBM solar installation is expected to be completed in late 2018.

Photo courtesy of IBM’s website

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