Located in Alamosa County, the 19 MW Greater Sandhill PV power plant began generating power on December 22, 2010. It is said to be the largest operating plant of its kind in the state.
Constructed over a period of nine months, over 100 construction jobs were reportedly created. MetLife and John Hancock Financial Services financed the third-party ownership.
"Xcel Energy is pleased to provide solar energy from Greater Sandhill to our customers and eagerly anticipates adding more solar power in the San Luis Valley in the near future," commented Tom Imbler, vice president, commercial operations for Xcel Energy.
Meanwhile, SunPower is working on another PV project on former agricultural land in Alamosa County. Scheduled of completion at the end of 2011, construction on the 30 MW San Luis Valley Solar Ranch began in 2010. Around 100 jobs are expected to be created.
Iberdrola Renewables is developing the ranch, and will own and operate it. The company will sell the electricity under a long-term contract to Xcel Energy, for distribution on the region’s utility grid.