Two large solar farms, one under construction and one seeking approval, in Pueblo County
PUEBLO COUNTY, Colo. (KRDO) -- KRDO NewsChannel 13 is updating the progress of two significant solar power-generating operations in the area.
One of the projects is currently being built north of the Pueblo Airport, along the road that leads to the Transportation Technology Center; both sides of the road for several miles appear to be full of solar farm infrastructure.
Signage on the property indicates that the project is being built by Moss CM, a Florida-based construction company that also specializes in solar energy projects; the company's website lists two similar projects in Boulder and 14 others in seven states.
"That's just one of many solar farms we've had come here," said County Commissioner Garrison Ortiz. "The weather is perfect for that industry and our regulations now make it more favorable to have solar farms operating here. We also have plenty of land where they can build without a lot of opposition, and that's hard to find."
But commissioners expect to vote Thursday on whether to approve a proposed solar farm, known as the Pronghorn Solar Park, that would be located along Lime Road near the existing Xcel Energy power plant.
If approved, construction on that project would begin later this year and start operations late next year.
Many residents of the nearby Lakeside Manor Estates neighborhood oppose the project, saying that thousands of solar arrays would be placed just across from their backyards.
"We don't want the disruption of our views," said Rhonda Pighetti, a resident for 42 years. "We've also talked to realtors in our area, and they said that it would depreciate the value of our homes and property. We are concerned for what it will disrupt behind us. We have wildlife back there."
She said that some homeowners may move out of the neighborhood if the project is approved.
"It's not that we're against solar power," Pighetti said. "I have solar panels in my yard. This just isn't the right place for that project. And it doesn't benefit anyone here in our county. The landowner who sold for the project lives out of town, and the power from it is going to Denver."
Representatives of Moss and Pronghorn were unavailable for comment Monday.