Solar plant making energy in southern Colo. |

Solar plant making energy in southern Colo.

ALAMOSA, Colorado ” SunEdison activated its 8.22-megawatt photovoltaic solar plant Monday, with the plant generating power for Xcel Energy two weeks ahead of schedule.

SunEdison said the plant would deliver enough energy to power 1,500 homes.

Xcel Energy will buy renewable energy credits and solar power generated by the plant for 20 years. The plant is financed, built and maintained by SunEdison.

In March, Gov. Bill Ritter signed into law a bill requiring utilities to derive 20 percent of their power from renewable energy sources by 2020.

“Colorado is advancing to a New Energy Economy through projects such as this in the San Luis Valley. It provides clean power to the state, protects our environment, and brings jobs and revenue to rural communities,” Ritter said.

Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., said projects such as the solar plant are helping Colorado emerge as the “renewable energy capital of the nation.” He said the development of renewable energy would help the U.S. secure energy independence and strengthen national and economic security.

Construction of the plant on about 80 acres in the San Luis Valley created about 50 jobs. SunEdison said the plant would employ a small maintenance crew.

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