JULY 2011

Colorado Springs Utilities complete solar power plant

Colorado Springs Utilities and SunPower Corp. announced the completion of a 6-megawatt solar photovoltaic power system at the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA) in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The project was funded in part by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. It originated from requirements that federal government facilities use increasing amounts of renewable energy as well as USAFA’s Net Zero Initiative, which set a goal for the Academy to generate 100 percent of the electricity it needs from on-base renewable energy sources. SunPower and USAFA will each own 50 percent of the renewable energy credits and environmental benefits associated with the system.

The system uses high-efficiency SunPower solar panels with the SunPower™ T0 Tracker system. The Tracker follows the sun’s movement during the day, increasing sunlight capture by up to 25 percent over conventional fixed-tilt systems, while significantly reducing land use requirements. The system has been designed to meet USAFA’s stringent engineering design standards.

According to Environmental Protection Agency estimates, the system at the USAFA will avoid more than 9,400 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year, the equivalent of removing 40,900 cars from Colorado’s highways over 25 years.

SunPower has worked with federal agencies since 1999, and has more than 40 megawatts of solar power systems installed or under contract at government facilities, including systems at Nellis Air Force Base and the Washington, D.C. headquarters of the U.S. Department of Energy.