In the first part of this decade there appeared to be a race for the largest solar project, akin to the race for the tallest skyscraper waged in the 20th century. However, after protracted legal battles with conservationists over desert lands in the West and the success of smaller projects on disused agricultural land, the industry turned to more modestly-sized projects on unassuming parcels.
But there is still a space for large solar projects, including one that is moving forward in Colorado. Last week the Arapahoe County Board of Commissioners granted siting approval to Cypress Creek Renewables to build a 75 MW-AC solar project on land zoned for agricultural use, as reported by Denver Post.
If built, the Hunter Solar project will be the second-largest solar project built in Colorado to date. According to project documents, Hunter Solar will represent a $136 million investment, and will cover 515 acres with 333,000 PV modules mounted on single-axis trackers.
The project is expected to produce 189 gigawatt-hours annually, enough to power 17,000 homes, and which alone would increase the state’s solar generation 19% over 2016 levels. Cypress Creek holds a power contract with electricity cooperative Intermountain Rural Electric Association for the output of Hunter Solar, and the developer estimates that it will take 9-12 months to build.