Holy Cross Energy announces new solar array projects in Gypsum and Aspen | VailDaily.com

Holy Cross Energy announces new solar array projects in Gypsum and Aspen

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Construction manager Jeff Bintz, left, and installer and trainer Dylan Reitenbach show members of the community and electric industry how solar panels work at a Holy Cross Energy community solar array in Gypsum last summer. Holy Cross has accepted proposals for two new utility-scale solar projects to be built within its service territory over the next 18 months, including another one in the Gypsum area.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Holy Cross Energy has accepted proposals for two new utility-scale solar projects to be built within its service territory over the next 18 months, and one of those new projects is planned in the Gypsum area.

Each 5-megawatt project will produce enough electricity to serve the annual electric needs of 900 homes, helping Holy Cross to further increase its renewable-energy share and reduce future greenhouse-gas emissions.

"These two new solar projects are part of our continued commitment to providing reliable, affordable and increasingly cleaner electricity to our members and the communities we serve," said Megan Gilman, chair of the Holy Cross Energy Board of Directors, in a news release. "Not only will these projects help us further reduce our environmental impact, but they will also provide a consistent, cost-effective source of power supply for years to come."

Near Gypsum

Cypress Creek Renewables, a leading national solar energy company, will build a utility-scale solar array for Holy Cross on 30 acres south of Gypsum. Cypress Creek Renewables works with local partners and community stakeholders to develop, finance, build and operate solar-generating assets throughout the United States, with more than 1 gigawatt in operation across more than a dozen states. Headquartered in California, Cypress Creek has a local office in Breckenridge and is under active development on six projects across Colorado.

"Cypress Creek is thrilled to be partnering with Holy Cross Energy and the local community to bring more clean, affordable solar energy to the state of Colorado. It is exciting to see Holy Cross Energy and other electric cooperatives throughout Colorado meeting the growing customer demand for renewable energy," said Cypress Creek Renewables CEO Matthew McGovern.

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Roaring Fork array

RES Distributed LLC, a leader in the development, construction and operation of wind, solar, transmission and energy-storage projects, will work with Aspen Consolidated Sanitation District to develop a solar array on the sanitation district's land in the Roaring Fork Valley. RES is the world's largest independent renewable-energy company, with a 12-gigawatt portfolio and the expertise to develop, engineer, construct, finance and operate projects around the globe. RES is active in a range of energy technologies, including onshore and offshore wind, solar, energy storage and transmission.

"We view this as an opportunity to fulfill our financial and environmental goals while supporting clean power for the entire community. We look forward to finalizing the details with RES and Holy Cross Energy," said Bruce Matherly, district manager of Aspen Consolidated Sanitation District.

Holy Cross will make the output from these new solar projects available to its members through an expanded renewable energy purchasing program that provides members with the option to purchase sustainable energy for some or all of their electricity use each month. For an incremental cost, Holy Cross members will have the option to purchase renewable energy from these two local solar projects, in addition to the Colorado-produced wind and hydropower projects previously available.

"We're excited to be able to bring these new utility-scale solar projects to our members," said Holy Cross Energy President and CEO Bryan Hannegan. "In addition to providing clean, affordable electricity, these local projects will also use new technologies to help improve the reliability and resilience of our electric grid."

The two new 5-megawatt solar projects are expected to come online by the end of 2018, subject to negotiations among the partners. Holy Cross expects to start taking sign-ups for its expanded renewable-energy program within the next few weeks; interested members should visit holycross.com for additional details.