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Juwi to build 100-MW solar facility in Colorado for Tri-State

Juwi Inc. will build a 100-MW solar facility in Colorado for Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association Inc.

Tri-State, a wholesale power supplier, will buy output of the project under a 15-year power contract. The planned Spanish Peaks facility is the second utility-scale solar project that the Juwi GmbH subsidiary will build for Tri-State. Juwi previously build the 30-MW San Isabel facility in Las Animas County, which it sold to Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. in March 2016.

The solar power contract follows Delta Montrose Electric Association's recent complaint with Colorado regulators in an effort to quit its membership of Tri-State, so it can pursue cheaper, cleaner energy resources. The average price Tri-State has charged for its own power has increased by 56% since 2005, while other Colorado utilities have moved to cheaper, cleaner sources. Tri-State owns 3,150 MW of operating nameplate generation capacity, almost all of which is coal- or gas-fired. It is owned by 43 member electric cooperatives and public power districts.

Spanish Peaks will consist of 300,000 photovoltaic solar panels on single axis tracking arrays. Construction is expected to begin in 2022 and the project is slated to enter operation by 2023.