Ameresco solar plus storage facility powers Colorado Mountain College

Sept. 19, 2022
The 4.5AC-MW grid-tied project comprises over 13,500 solar modules and MW of battery storage.

Renewable energy firm Ameresco inaugurated the company's largest solar array and battery storage facility in Colorado, which was built under a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Colorado Mountain College and electricity distributor Holy Cross Energy.

The 22-acre solar facility is built on college-owned land to the south of the Spring Valley campus at Glenwood Springs. It has more than 13,500 solar modules and many of these can track the sun. It also has 5 MW of battery storage for peak-demand periods. The battery system has 68 battery stacks in four on-site containers. The 4.5AC-megawatt, grid-tied project sends electricity to the HCE’s distribution system, providing an environmentally-friendly and cost-effective option to members.

The project produces enough energy to power about 1,000 homes and is expected to help avoid GHG emissions – about 6,853 metric tons of CO2 equivalent. It will help the HCE achieve its goal of increasing the renewable energy it provides to its members to 100% clean energy sources by 2030. It will also help the Colorado Mountain College achieve its carbon neutrality goal by 2050.

“The Holy Cross Energy/Colorado Mountain College solar-plus-storage project is a great example of a win-win renewable project,” said Sam Whelan, HCE’s vice president of power supply. “Not only does the project assist both HCE and CMC toward their renewable and carbon goals, but it also provides us with the flexibility to operate an increasingly renewable portfolio. To top it all off, we’re able to do this in a financially responsible way that saves money for all our members.”

“Our partnership with Colorado Mountain College and Holy Cross Energy on this impressive solar and battery energy storage project that utilizes a unique model of collaboration enables all sides to simultaneously finance the feat and achieve individual sustainability targets,” said Ameresco EVP Louis Maltezos. “This forward-thinking model not only advances Colorado’s renewable energy goals but ushers in a new era of sustainable collaboration for the state.”

Sunsense Solar, a solar electric engineering and construction contractor, developed the project and Ameresco will operate it. The project is 95% complete and scheduled to begin commercial operation in Fall 2022.