Participants in the Dec. 16 ribbon-cutting at the Victory Solar facility north of Bennett included, from left: Patrick Mooney, IREA Chief Executive Officer; Michael Kempe, Director of IREA District 1; Royce Pindell, Mayor of Bennett; Steve O’Dorisio, Adams County Commissioner; Jeffrey Butt, Duke Energy Director of Business Development; Robert Graf, Director of IREA District 6; Steve Ihnot, juwi Inc. Chief Financial Officer; Samantha Robichaud, Duke Energy Operations; Tilman Rückert, juwi Inc. Project Manager; Mark Jurgemeyer, IREA Engineering Manager; and Pam Feuerstein, IREA Chief Operating Officer.

The sun rose on a new era Dec. 16 as IREA celebrated the completion of the Victory Solar generation facility in Adams County. The facility is located on land adjacent to an IREA substation that IREA has leased to the project developer. IREA has agreed to purchase all of its power production for the next 25 years.

Representatives from IREA, project developer juwi Inc. and project owner Duke Energy joined several local government officials in marking the occasion with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Victory Solar site north of Bennett.

Two years of planning, design and construction went into the 150-acre facility, which includes more than 50,000 photovoltaic panels generating nearly 13 megawatts, enough capacity at peak to serve more than 2,000 typical homes. The panels feature single-axis tracking that allows them to follow the sun’s path and increase solar exposure and power production compared to rooftop or other fixed arrays.

“The Victory Solar project is a great example of why clean and cost-effective solar projects work well on a large-scale basis in Colorado,” said Bob Graf, director of IREA’s District 6, which includes portions of Arapahoe and Adams counties. “IREA is happy to work with Duke Energy and juwi on this project in order to bring more renewable options to our members.”

IREA is considering a community solar arrangement through which subscribers could purchase renewable energy without the cost and inconvenience of adding residential solar panels to their homes. If you are interested in participating, call Michelle McAndrew, IREA Rates and Engineering Services Director, at (720) 733-5497.