Private-public partners announce Colo solar project |

Private-public partners announce Colo solar project

AURORA, Colorado ” A group of public agencies and companies has announced plans to build a research center in Aurora to promote commercial solar energy technologies.

The partners say the 74-acre Solar Technology Acceleration Center, or SolarTAC, will be one of the world’s largest solar test and evaluation facilities. It will be developed over the next three years with an initial investment of $5 million.

Gov. Bill Ritter said Thursday that the center will contribute to Colorado’s efforts to become a leader in the development of clean, modern energy technology.

“This announcement marks an important milestone in our efforts to establish Colorado as the renewable energy capital of the world,” Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., said.

The partners in SolarTAC are the city of Aurora; Abengoa Solar; the Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory; Midwest Research Institute; SunEdison; and Xcel Energy.

Dick Kelly, Xcel Energy CEO and president, said SolarTAC will help bring advanced, more affordable and efficient solar technologies to the market.

Xcel Energy spokesman Tom Henley said more partners are expected to join the venture. He said the center, expected to be developed over the next three years, will have the ability to expand on up to 1,900 acres of adjacent land owned by the city of Aurora.

Members of SolarTAC are teaming with the state of Colorado and the four major research institutions that make up the Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory: Colorado State University, Colorado School of Mines, the University of Colorado-Boulder and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden.

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