White River Electric Association (WREA) and Cypress Creek Renewables (CCR) were proud to celebrate the grand opening of Piceance Creek Solar Farm with a ribbon-cutting on January 22, 2019. The Piceance Creek Solar Farm is a 5.4-megawatt (MW) size solar power system designed to provide over 10,000,000 kWh/year to WREA.
“The Piceance Creek Solar facility is Cypress Creek Renewables’ first commissioned site in Colorado and exemplifies the complimentary nature of solar energy production adjacent to natural gas operations” said Michelle Zimmerman, project developer for CCR.
The 40-acre site consists of 16,959 solar modules mounted on a single-axis tracking system designed to track the sun from east to west each day, maximizing the facility’s production. This project produces enough energy to power over 830 single family homes each year. This is WREA’s third local renewable project.
“All of the projects have meet our goal of developing cost effective local renewable energy”, said Trina Zagar-Brown, General Counsel and Manager of Member Services with WREA.
Piceance Creek Solar is currently the largest utility scale solar project in northwestern Colorado.
Zagar-Brown went on to state that, “WREA is fortunate to be located in an area filled with diverse and abundant natural energy resources including gas, coal, solar and hydro. WREA’s local renewables aren’t about trendy efforts but are projects that are designed to have a positive impact on our community and our rates.”
WREA members will have opportunities to lease power from the Piceance Creek Solar Farm beginning in May. WREA also worked with the Meeker Housing Authority and Northwest Colorado Council of Governments (NWCOG) to develop the Meeker Housing Solar Project whereby a NWCOG grant will be used to purchase solar energy from Piceance Creek Solar to benefit the Meeker Housing Authority facilities.