Two new projects will help Glenwood Springs-based electric cooperative Holy Cross Energy meet its 100% renewable energy goal by 2030. The co-op recently signed agreements with AES Corporation for a solar project and a battery storage project. Combined, the “solar-plus-storage” projects move HCE toward its renewable energy goals outlined in its 100X30 plan announced in December 2020.
AES will develop the projects that will add a total of 20 megawatts of renewable energy capacity and 40 megawatt-hours of battery storage in two Colorado towns. High Mesa Solar in the Town of Parachute, and Peace Bear Ranch Solar in the Town of Silt, will each provide 10 MW of solar energy and 20 MWh of battery storage. HCE will buy the electricity and storage capacity from both projects.
“Projects like these will allow HCE to attain our 100X30 clean energy goals while keeping power supply costs low,” HCE VP, Power Supply & Programs Steve Beuning said in an April press release from HCE. “We are pleased to be partnering together with AES to develop reliable and resilient energy resources locally that will benefit all HCE members.”
The battery storage will allow HCE to shift electricity production from the solar panels into evening hours when customer demand is often highest. The development of the Peace Bear Ranch Solar project is contingent on the results of engineering studies currently being performed by Xcel Energy to assess grid impacts. Construction is planned to begin later this year, and the projects are expected to be fully operational by the end of 2022, subject to county land use permitting approvals.
Future editions of CREA’s Energy Innovations newsletter will keep you informed about the progress and completion of these projects throughout the remainder of the year.