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System Benefit Charge
Colorado | CO
Centralized Solar System: Photovoltaic,Power Purchase Agreement (PPA),Solar Energy Credits (RECs, etc)
The Alamosa Photovoltaic (PV) Solar Plant is an 8.2 MW-dc installation located on roughly 80 acres of land near an Xcel substation in Alamosa, Colorado. The PV system was built to provide Xcel with Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) to meet Colorado`s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (RPS) solar set-aside requirement. The RPS which was passed in November 2004 in Colorado requires Xcel Energy to receive 20% of its power from renewable energy sources by 2020, and that 4% comes from solar. The large central-station system allowed Xcel to acquire SRECs faster than if they relied solely on customer installations. The solar plant was financed, built and will be maintained by SunEdison, under a Solar Power Services Agreement (SPSA), which went through an RFP procurement process and was approved by the state commission. Under the SPSA, Xcel Energy will buy renewable energy credits and the solar power generated by the Alamosa plant for 20 years.
The solar power plant consists of three distinct types of solar technologies:
• Single axis tracking array
• Fixed-mount array
• 1 MW of dual axis tracking array with photovoltaic concentrator technology
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) designated Colorado`s San Luis Valley near the substation in Alamosa as the best spot in the state for solar energy with nearly 340 days of sunshine a year. Project construction employed up to 70 tradesmen. Two employees maintain the Alamosa facility on a full-time basis.
Alamosa was paid for out of ratepayer funds, which was approved by the voters when they passed Amendment 37.
Black and Veatch performed due diligence on behalf of the lender for Sun Edison. The due diligence included review of the project participants, assessment of the adequacy of the site, a technology and design review, evaluation of the status of permitting, review of project agreements, and an evaluation of project capital and cost project performance estimates.
Alamosa is seen as an example of how utility-scale solar, that supports substation loads, can be deployed in just a few months. The ground breaking ceremony for the Alamosa solar plant took place in April 2007, and the system was activated two weeks ahead of schedule in December and an 18 month procurement and installation process (release of RFP through final installation).
General Project Description: http://www.xcelenergy.com/Company/Environment/Renewable%20Energy/Pages/Solar.aspx
Activation News Release: http://www.sunedison.com/images/press/121607-alamosa.pdf