Ameresco, Holy Cross Energy team on solar + storage project at Colorado Mountain College

Ameresco, Inc. partnered with Holy Cross Energy for a solar and battery energy storage project, utilizing land leased from Colorado Mountain College, to install 5 MW of solar PV and 15 MWH battery energy storage. Ameresco’s project with Holy Cross Energy is under a PPA. Ameresco will design, build, operate and maintain the facilities while offering Holy Cross Energy the benefit of renewable energy. HCE has a goal of sourcing 100% renewable electricity to serve customer loads by 2030. According to the agreement, Ameresco will install 5MW of solar PV and 15 MWH battery energy storage. 

The technology solutions installed will be owned by Ameresco on land it will lease from Colorado Mountain College. Ameresco will then sell the output generated to HCE. The avoided annual greenhouse gas emissions of the solar PV are expected to be 6,853 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, which equates to the emissions benefit of removing 1,481 passenger vehicles from the road, or not burning 7,551,050 pounds of coal.

“One of the extraordinary things about working in this industry is finding and utilizing solutions that work for all of our customers,” said Louis Maltezos, executive vice president of Ameresco. “By eliminating concerns around potential financial barriers and leveraging our deep technical expertise, we can focus on fostering innovative solutions that fit our clients’ needs and benefit the communities they service.” 

The Ameresco project will help HCE achieve its goal of leading the responsible transition to a clean energy future by increasing the renewable energy it provides to its members to 100% clean by 2030 and completely offsetting its greenhouse gas emission to net-zero by 2035. Since 1939, HCE has provided electric services, often for the first time, to rural areas left out of large-scale electric and energy projects.

“Projects like this one will allow HCE to attain our 100X30 clean energy goals while keeping power supply costs low,” said HCE president and chief executive officer Bryan Hannegan. “We are honored to be partnering with local organizations such as CMC to develop reliable and resilient energy resources that will benefit all HCE members even as we assist CMC in meeting its specific sustainability goals.” 

“We are so excited to be part of this great venture in solar energy,” said Dr. Heather Exby, Colorado Mountain College vice president and Spring Valley Campus dean. “By leasing a portion of our land for the solar array, we will help our community to attain energy independence by use of this renewable, and locally abundant, source. Colorado Mountain College as a whole will also move closer to our goal to be carbon neutral by 2050, as we will be receiving renewable energy credits from Holy Cross Energy that will offset electrical usage at our Spring Valley, Aspen and Edwards campuses.” Exby said, “We could not have done this without the advice and guidance from the staff at CLEER (Clean Energy Economy for the Region). The expertise of Katharine Rushton, Renewable Energy Program Director, ensured a high-quality and community-appropriate project that wins for everyone.”

Construction is set to be completed in the first quarter of 2022.

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