Get Big Pivots

Photo/Greg Poschman

A 5-megawatt solar installation has been completed near Aspen to serve Holy Cross Energy.

The project owner and developer, Primergy Solar, erected the 13,000 solar panels on 35 acres along Woody Creek. The land is leased from the Aspen Consolidated Sanitation District. Holy Cross has access to the production under a 25-year power-purchase agreement. It is expected to generate enough electricity to power about 900 homes.

“Primergy Solar is extremely knowledgeable and resourceful – even using local contractors when appropriate – and they have been a seamless partner for the Pitkin County solar project,” said Pitkin County Commissioner Greg Poschman.

The Pitkin Solar Project is located under a flight path near the Aspen Airport, which posed unique site challenges including landscape requirements and glare concerns. The panels are also black to cut down on reflected light for both planes flying over and for neighbors.

The solar project also serves as a component in the effort by Holy Cross to create microgrids. A microgrid is a network of electrical consumers and generators that, at least temporarily, can be independent of the broader grid.

Need for this approach was demonstrated by the Lake Christine wildfire that erupted at El Jebel, midway through the Roaring Fork Valley, in 2018. The fire very, very nearly resulted in loss of transmission to Aspen before the busy July 4th weekend. See: “With wildfire risk rising, utilities bet on solar + storage.”


Allen Best
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