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    Construction commences on QCells Colorado solar park

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    Construction has commenced on a 257MW solar project in Colorado, set to become one of the state’s largest power plants upon completion. Platte River Power Authority and their turnkey solutions partner, Qcells USA Corp (Qcells), initiated the Black Hollow Solar project on July 10.


    The project’s first phase, scheduled for completion in May 2025, will provide approximately 367,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of energy annually to Platte River’s owner communities: Estes Park, Fort Collins, Longmont, and Loveland. The second phase, adding 107MW of capacity in 2026, will bring the total capacity to 257MW.


    Once operational, Black Hollow Solar will boost Platte River’s total solar capacity to 309MW.


    Platte River general manager/chief executive Jason Frisbie, commented “Black Hollow Solar represents a major milestone in our journey of working toward our non-carbon energy goals as outlined in the board-approved Resource Diversification Policy.”


    “We are proud that Black Hollow Solar, when completed, will bring the total amount of solar capacity in our portfolio to 309MW, help replace the coal-fired generation we will be shutting down before the end of the decade and is by far the largest solar generation project in northern Colorado.”


    According to the agreement with Platte River, Qcells will deliver turnkey solutions, encompassing project development, engineering, procurement, and construction services, and will supply over 540,000 Qcells modules for the Black Hollow Solar project.


    Starting in May 2025, the electricity generated will be sold to Platte River under a long-term power purchase agreement.


    IP Kim, Qcells president, added “We are proud to provide energy solutions that support a partner like Platte River, promoting good stewardship of the community while also realizing the benefits this project brings as a clean source of sustainable energy for the next 25+ years for northern Colorado communities and to the growth of American energy.”


    The site is situated northeast of Black Hollow Reservoir, near Severance.


    As Platte River transitions from coal-fired resources to renewable energy, the addition of Black Hollow Solar, combined with existing renewable resources, will boost Platte River’s annual non-carbon energy generation to 58%, meeting nearly 75% of the energy needs for its four owner communities. Platte River is also assessing future renewable energy projects, including wind and battery storage.


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