The 80 MW solar project in Colorado will remain a sheep farm

The Delta County Board of Commissioners has approved a limited use permit required to install and operate an 80 MW solar project in southern Delta County, Colorado. When complete, the Garnet Mesa Solar Project will produce more than 194,000 MWh of electricity each year, enough power for 18,000 homes.

Credit: Guzman Energy

Delta-Montrose Electrical Association (DMEA) will buy part of the energy produced by the solar park and Guzman Energy will draw the remainder as feed to serve other wholesale customers.

“We are pleased with the unanimous decision of the Delta County Board of Commissioners to approve the Limited Use License to install and operate the Garnet Mesa Solar Project. We are grateful for the time and attention community and county officials have given to the process,” said Robin Lunt, Chief Strategy Officer at Guzman Energy.

The Garnet Mesa Solar project team will now focus on the next phases of engineering and procurement planning. Resource and construction schedule details will be announced following these engineering and procurement planning cycles. Land secured for construction of the Garnet Mesa Solar Farm is currently irrigated and used for livestock grazing, and will remain so after grid construction is complete.

Around 1,000 sheep will take care of grazing and vegetation management on the solar farm.

“With the Commissioners’ approval, we are one step closer to securing a significant amount of affordable local power. Together with Guzman Energy, we are ensuring rate stability for our members,” said Kent Blackwell, Acting CEO and Chief Technology Officer at DMEA. “We are confident that Garnet Mesa Solar will be a great 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 increase the DMEA to 20% of local electricity production.

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

News article from Guzman Energy