175MW solar and storage project cleared for construction in Colorado


One of the largest solar projects proposed for construction in Colorado has received approval to move forward with construction, as the El Paso County commissioners granted land approval to juwi Inc. for development of the Pike Solar Project.

Pike Solar is set to be a 175MW solar project coupled with a 25 MW/100MWh four-hour lithium-ion battery energy storage system, both among the largest ever proposed in Colorado, especially so far as energy storage is concerned.

Also worth note, Colorado Springs Utilities, the project’s energy offtaker, shared that there will be a reservoir on site for water-based energy storage, but that said storage is distinctly not hydropower. pv magazine reached out to the project’s developer, juwi, for clarification on this additional storage system, and will update this story pending juwi’s response.

Project construction is expected to commence in 2023, lasting roughly a year before Pike enters commercial operation in 2024. The project has a 17-year power purchase agreement (PPA) in place with Colorado Springs Utilities.

The project marks the second solar collaboration between juwi and Colorado Springs Utilities, the first being the 60MW Palmer Solar project, which is currently the largest solar project on Colorado Springs Utilities’ system, though it will be overtaken once Pike is complete.

The largest solar project in Colorado, however, is Lightsource bp’s 300MW Bighorn Solar project, located in Pueblo, Colorado. It is one of the largest on-site solar facilities in the US dedicated to a single customer, with more than 750,000 solar panels, and will provide power to Evraz’s Rocky Mountain Steel plant via a 20-year PPA with Xcel Energy, the utility that serves the plant.

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