Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) and SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) have signed a power purchase agreement to build a 50-megawatt solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant in Colorado's San Luis Valley. Xcel Energy estimates that the plant will generate enough electricity to serve the needs of approximately 13,500 average Colorado homes.
"This expansion of our renewable portfolio in Colorado is yet another example of how Xcel Energy brings solar power to its customers in the right way," said David Eves, president and CEO of Public Service Co. of Colorado, an Xcel Energy company. "We are adding large scale solar that competes with and surpasses other forms of generation alternatives, in terms of price, over the life of the project. This benefits all of our customers - both environmentally and economically."
Construction of the solar power plant is contingent on the project securing all required permits, interconnection rights and financing. SunPower expects to start construction in 2015, and to achieve full commercial operation by the end of 2016. An estimated 100 jobs will be created at peak construction.
"We congratulate Xcel Energy for providing leadership in the promotion of large scale solar power development, and for demonstrating how renewable technologies are part of the solution to ensure the health of our economy and our environment," said Howard Wenger, SunPower president, regions. "SunPower's high-efficiency solar PV technology is competitively-priced for power plant applications, fast to install, and reliably delivers clean power, particularly during peak demand hours."
At the 320-acre site, SunPower will design and build a SunPower® Oasis® Power Plant system. Oasis is a fully integrated, modular solar power block that is engineered to rapidly and cost-effectively deploy utility-scale solar projects while optimizing land use.
According to estimates provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the completed plant will offset the annual production of almost 127,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions, which is the equivalent of removing approximately 483,000 cars from Colorado's roads over the next 20 years.
SunPower constructed two solar power plants in the San Luis Valley that currently generate power for Xcel Energy's Colorado customers. The 19-megawatt Greater Sandhill plant has been operating since 2010, and the 30-megawatt San Luis Valley Solar Ranch began delivering energy in 2011. By the end of 2016, when the project announced is complete, it is expected that the three plants combined will generate enough solar power to serve approximately 26,500 Colorado homes, roughly equivalent to powering the entire city of Littleton, Colorado.
The capacity of power plants in this release is described in approximate megawatts on an alternating current (ac) basis.
About Xcel Energy
Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) is a major U.S. electricity and natural gas company that provides a comprehensive portfolio of energy-related products and services to 3.5 million electricity customers and 1.9 million natural gas customers through its regulated operating companies in eight Western and Midwestern states. Company headquarters are located in Minneapolis. More information is available at www.xcelenergy.com.
About SunPower Corp.
SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) designs, manufactures and delivers the highest efficiency, highest reliability solar panels and systems available today. Residential, business, government and utility customers rely on the company's quarter century of experience and guaranteed performance to provide maximum return on investment throughout the life of the solar system. Headquartered in San Jose, Calif., SunPower has offices in North America, Europe, Australia, Africa and Asia. For more information, visit www.sunpower.com.
SunPower's Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, but not limited to, statements regarding our plans and objectives for existing and future project development and construction. These forward-looking statements are based on our current assumptions, expectations and beliefs and involve substantial risks and uncertainties that may cause results, performance or achievement to materially differ from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to: (1) competition in the industry and downward pressure on average selling prices; (2) our liquidity, substantial indebtedness, and our ability to obtain additional financing for our projects and our customers; (3) our ability to meet our cost reduction targets; (4) regulatory changes and the availability of economic incentives promoting use of solar energy; (5) challenges inherent in constructing and maintaining certain of our large projects, such as the Solar Star project; (6) the success of our ongoing research and development efforts and commercialization of new products and services; (7) fluctuations in our operating results; (8) manufacturing difficulties that could arise; and (9) challenges managing our joint ventures. A detailed discussion of these factors and other risks that affect our business is included in filings we make with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from time to time, including our most recent reports on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q, particularly under the heading "Risk Factors." Copies of these filings are available online from the SEC or on the SEC Filings section of our Investor Relations website at investors.sunpowercorp.com. All forward-looking statements in this press release are based on information currently available to us, and we assume no obligation to update these forward-looking statements in light of new information or future events.