Penitente Solar: Lighting the Way in the San Luis Valley

Over the past decade, solar energy manufacturers and developers have made significant strides in the quality and affordability of this electric generation resource. The per-kilowatt-hour price from solar generators in the past five years has dropped almost 30 percent making this renewable resource competitive with traditional generation.

For the past four years, San Luis Valley Rural Electric Cooperative has been investigating the installation of a 2.75 AC megawatt solar project. Its top priority is ensuring that the project is cost effective. Last summer, San Luis Valley REC negotiated a power purchase agreement with RES-Americas. RES-Americas provided attractive pricing that will provide modest power supply cost reductions.

The project has been named Penitente Solar and will be located in the southwestern part of Saguache County. San Luis Valley REC purchased the 25 acres of land on which the project will be constructed and all the agreements necessary to build this project have been executed. Construction is scheduled to begin in early spring and should be complete by midsummer.