La Plata Electric Association in Durango is collaborating with Fort Lewis College, Teledyne Brown, Lockheed Martin Space and King Energy to develop a 2-megawatt solar garden at the Old Fort property south of Hesperus. This facility will generate electricity and provide students and faculty research opportunities.
This innovative use of atypical space for a solar development — a rocky and rural landscape — will lend itself to infrastructure research, according to a news release by FLC. Researchers will test various solar installations and establish new industry options for areas that aren’t flat or graded. The Old Fort’s location is in LPEA’s remote service territory, but not close to current infrastructure. This will take additional research to get the solar park’s energy connected to the grid.