COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. and SAN JOSE, Calif., Nov. 1, 2010 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Colorado Springs Utilities (Springs Utilities) and SunPower Corp. (Nasdaq: SPWRA, SPWRB) today announced an agreement to design and build a 6-megawatt solar photovoltaic power system at the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA) in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Construction will begin this month on the 30-acre site, and the plant is expected to be operational by summer 2011.
The project is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), as a result of government requirements for federal facilities to use increasing amounts of renewable energy. SunPower and Springs Utilities will each own 50 percent of the renewable energy credits (RECs) and environmental benefits associated with the system.
"This solar power system will create local jobs, reduce the demand for fossil fuels, and improve air quality in our community," said Springs Utilities CEO Jerry Forte. "We are confident that, with SunPower as our experienced solar provider, the Air Force Academy solar plant will be built to high quality standards and will meet forecasted output over the 25-year life of the system."
The system will use high-efficiency SunPower solar panels with the SunPower Tracker® system. The Tracker follows the sun's movement during the day, increasing sunlight capture by up to 25 percent over conventional fixed-tilt systems, while significantly reducing land use requirements. The system will be designed to meet USAFA's stringent engineering design standards.
"The 30-acre, 6-megawatt system at this site, where Air Force cadets and officers alike engage in thousands of training flights each year, will be a testament to the fact that solar power provides a secure, independent power source in the U.S.," said Jim Pape, president of SunPower's residential and commercial business group. "Reliability and quality are the hallmarks of SunPower systems. We look forward to working with the Springs Utilities and the Air Force Academy on this very exciting project."
According to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates, the system at the Air Force Academy will avoid more than 9,400 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year, the equivalent of removing 40,900 cars from Colorado's highways over 25 years.
SunPower has worked with federal agencies since 1999, and has more than 50 megawatts of solar power systems installed or under contract at government facilities, including systems at Nellis Air Force Base and the Washington, D.C. headquarters of the U.S. Department of Energy.
The Air Force Academy will host a ground-breaking event this afternoon at 3:00 p.m. MDT to announce construction of the solar installation. Along with Colorado Springs Utilities and SunPower, USAFA will share a brief overview of the solar power plant features and explain what the array means to the community, the Academy and Springs Utilities.
About Colorado Springs Utilities
For more than 80 years, Colorado Springs Utilities has provided electricity, natural gas, water and wastewater services to its customers in the Pikes Peak region. Colorado Springs Utilities serves more than 200,000 electric, 180,000 natural gas, and 130,000 water and wastewater customers. As a community-owned utility, its focus is on the basics – providing exceptional customer service while keeping costs low.
Founded in 1985, SunPower Corp. (Nasdaq: SPWRA, SPWRB) designs, manufactures and delivers the planet's most powerful solar technology broadly available today. Residential, business, government and utility customers rely on the company's experience and proven results to maximize return on investment. With headquarters in San Jose, Calif., SunPower has offices in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. For more information, visit www.sunpowercorp.com.
SunPower Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are statements that do not represent historical facts and may be based on underlying assumptions. The company uses words and phrases such as "expected" and "will" to identify forward-looking statements in this press release, including forward-looking statements regarding (a) the expected starting and completion date of the solar power plant at the U.S. Air Force Academy, and (b) meeting forecasted output over the life of the system. Such forward-looking statements are based on information available to the company as of the date of this release and involve a number of risks and uncertainties, some beyond the company's control, that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by these forward-looking statements, including risks and uncertainties such as: (i) construction difficulties or potential delays in the project implementation process; (ii) unanticipated delays or difficulties securing necessary permits, licenses or other governmental approvals; (iii) the risk of continuation of supply of products and components from suppliers; (iv) unanticipated problems with deploying the system on the site; (v) actual energy output; and (vi) other risks described in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended January 3, 2010 and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended July 4, 2010, and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the company's views as of any subsequent date, and the company is under no obligation to, and expressly disclaims any responsibility to, update or alter its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
SunPower is a registered trademark of SunPower Corp. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
SOURCE SunPower Corp.