PUEBLO, Colo., Sept. 9, 2020 – Black Hills Energy’s Renewable Advantage plan to lower energy costs by an anticipated $66 million over 15 years will advance to the final stage of the approval process by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, the company announced today. The administrative law judge assigned to the proceeding issued a decision last week in favor of the 200-megawatt (MW) solar project to be located in Pueblo County.
The proposed Pueblo County solar facility received unanimous support last month from stakeholders including Commission staff, the Office of Consumer Counsel, the City of Pueblo and Pueblo County, among others. In order to proceed, the project depends on the completion of a much-needed transmission line upgrade between Pueblo and Cañon City, now pending approval from the Pueblo County Commissioners.
If approved, the 200-MW solar facility would create up to 200 construction jobs and generate a projected $178 million in direct and indirect economic benefits to the region through state, local and federal taxes, the company stated. The project would also result in significant environmental benefits, leading to a 71 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2024, as 51 percent of the company’s electric generation would come from renewable energy resources.
“With Renewable Advantage and 200 megawatts of utility-scale solar energy on our system, more than half of our total electric generation would come from renewable energy sources,” said Vance Crocker, Black Hills Energy’s vice president in Colorado. “With our customers at the forefront, our Southern Colorado communities are well-positioned to lead the nation in the adoption of clean energy technologies like wind and solar.”
Upon approval by regulators, Black Hills Energy would enter into a power purchase agreement with the developer for all of the energy generated at the solar facility. Construction would begin in 2021 with the project coming online in 2023.
For more information about Renewable Advantage, visit www.blackhillsenergy.com/renewable-advantage.