GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. — A new solar installation at the Colorado Mountain College Spring Valley Campus is about to power up, and Holy Cross Energy President and CEO Bryan Hannagan says it’s the largest solar battery storage facility in the state.
“This is the first combined solar plus storage installation at the utility-scale in Colorado,” said Hannagan. “It will be, for a short time a least, the largest battery storage installation in the state.”
The massive 4.5MW solar array spans 22 acres. Scott Ely with Sunsence Solar says many of the panels can track the sun.
“The tracking technology has a North-South axis and actually tracks the sun from east to west on a daily basis,” said Ely.
The array will power around 1,000 homes or the equivalent of three Colorado Mountain College campuses but it can also store energy in large battery packs that can be used when people are drawing power the most.
“It allows us to manage and dispatch the flow of electricity from the solar panels through the batteries into the grid," said Hannagan. "So it gives us a great source of clean energy supply.”
The array could also power the Spring Valley Campus, which can now be used as an emergency shelter for the Roaring Fork Community during power outages with a similar project planned near the Aspen Airport and larger installations scheduled near the towns of Rifle and Parachute.
“It’s another step forward in our journey to 100% clean energy by the end of the decade,” said Hannagan.
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