80-MW Colorado solar project will remain a sheep farm

The Delta County Board of Commissioners approved a limited-use permit required to install and operate an 80 MW solar power project in Southern Delta County, Colorado. When completed, the proposed Garnet Mesa Solar will produce more than 194,000 MWh of electricity annually, enough energy for 18,000 households.

Credit: Guzman Energy

Delta-Montrose Electric Association (DMEA) buys part of the energy produced by the solar park and Guzman Energy will take the rest as power supply to serve additional wholesale customers.

“We are delighted with the unanimous decision of the Delta County Board of Commissioners to approve the limited use permit to install and operate the Garnet Mesa Solar project. We are grateful for the time and attention the community and county officials have given to the process,” said Robin Lunt, chief strategy officer at Guzman Energy.

Garnet Mesa Solar’s project team will now focus on the next phases of engineering and procurement planning. Details on the construction resources and timing will be announced after these engineering and procurement planning cycles. The land secured for the construction of the Garnet Mesa Solar farm is currently being irrigated and used for livestock grazing, and will remain after the array construction is completed.

About 1,000 sheep will take care of the grazing and vegetation management at the solar park.

“With the approval of the commissioners, we are one step closer to securing a significant amount of local affordable energy. Together with Guzman Energy, we are ensuring tariff stability for our members,” said Kent Blackwell, interim CEO and chief technology officer at DMEA. “We are confident that Garnet Mesa Solar will be an excellent example of agriculture and energy coexisting.”

Garnet Mesa is expected to employ 350 to 400 people and generate approximately $13 million in tax revenue over 15 years. The project will push DMEA to 20% of local power generation.

The Garnet Mesa Solar project team consists of Guzman Energy, DMEA and Citra Power. The Citra team has significant expertise in renewable energy development, technical engineering, EPC management and supervision, project and portfolio acquisitions, and wholesale power purchasing.

News item from Guzman Energy

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