Pronghorn Solar Park, LLC (“Pronghorn” and/or “Project”) is proud to propose the development of a 150-megawatt alternating current (MWac), photovoltaic solar project, on approximately 831 acres of private rangeland in Pueblo County, Colorado. The Project is located to the Northeast of Comanche Generating Station and Comanche Solar, aligning it with surrounding land uses for electric generation in the area.
The solar facility will be developed, owned and operated by Pronghorn, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Leeward Renewable Energy, LLC, a portfolio company of OMERS Infrastructure. The Project is expected to operate for 30+ years, providing significant economic investment in the community while generating local, clean energy aligned with the Colorado Renewable Energy Standard. Project construction is anticipated to begin in the second half of 2022, bringing an influx of new jobs to the community. The Project is planned to achieve operation by the fourth quarter of 2023, pending the necessary authorizations.
As a member of Pueblo County, Pronghorn will reach out to the local community to introduce the solar park and gather feedback to help inform the final design and operation of the Project. The public and other interested parties had an opportunity to learn more about the Project, have their questions answered, and provide feedback during a virtual community open-house (see below for details). Pronghorn has incorporated feedback from the community into its 1041 permit application package prior to submittal to Pueblo County, to request approval to construct and operate the Project.
the 1041 process
As part of the development process for the Project, Pronghorn has submitted a 1041 permit application to Pueblo County. A 1041 permit is required prior to a company conducting designated activities of state and local interest, such as the development and construction of a solar facility.
The County’s 1041 procedural process requires Pronghorn to review and disclose potential environmental and social impacts from the Project, as well as compliance with the Pueblo County approval criteria and guidelines. Feedback from the community has been considered in the preparation of the application. After the County deems Pronghorn’s submitted 1041 permit application as complete, the County will set a date, time, and place for a hearing on the application. The County will publish notice of the hearing in a newspaper of general circulation in the County, not less than 30 days and not more than 60 days before the date set for the hearing.
The County will then conduct a hearing and hear testimony/receive comments regarding the Project. For a permit applicant to engage in its proposed 1041 activities, its application must comply with and meet the standards of all the regulations governing it. The County will typically reach a permit decision within 90 days of the conclusion of the hearing. The 1041 process typically takes 4-to-6 months to complete, once an application is submitted and deemed complete.
Community Open House
May 12th from 6-8pm
Unofficial transcript of Pronghorn’s live Q&A
Thank you for attending the Pronghorn Solar Park’s virtual community open house on May 12, 2021. If you were unable to attend you can view a recording of the event below:
pueblo county hearing
Check back for updates regarding the time, date, and location of the Pueblo County Hearing.
As a dedicated member of the communities we call home, we work hard to earn the trust of our neighbors.
Our involvement goes well beyond job creation, economic investment, and providing clean, renewable energy. We strive to build lasting partnerships with civic leaders and property owners. Throughout the life of every project, we pride ourselves on being transparent in our communication and highly responsive to public feedback.
And most importantly, we believe being involved means giving back. We get to know our neighbors and love supporting the local causes they are passionate about. Whether through employee volunteer opportunities or corporate-level sponsorships, we are always looking for positive ways to stay actively engaged with our communities.
In 2021, Pronghorn provided support to Posada of Pueblo and the Senior Resource Development Agency (SRDA).
Pronghorn Solar Park, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Leeward Renewable Energy, LLC (Leeward), a leading renewable energy producer dedicated to sustainably powering the future. Leeward currently owns and operates 22 renewable energy facilities across nine states, totaling more than 2,000 MW of installed capacity. If approved, the Pronghorn Project will be our third renewable energy project in Colorado, in addition to our Cedar Creek and Mountain Breeze wind farms located in Weld County.
Leeward is a portfolio company of OMERS infrastructure, a preeminent global infrastructure investment arm of OMERs, one of Canada’s largest defined benefit pension plans with over C$105 billion in net assets (as of December 31, 2020).
Responsible development is an ethos that runs deep at Leeward and our subsidiary companies. We develop, own, and operate renewable generation assets for the long term, and are committed to leaving a positive impact on the communities where we operate. We achieve this by prioritizing our values of community partnership, sustainability and safety.
CLICK HERE for more information about Leeward Renewable Energy, LLC.
Solar frequently asked questions (FAQs)
What will the solar facility look like?
The Pronghorn solar park will primarily consist of rows of photovoltaic electric generating modules mounted to steel frames that are installed on driven steel posts with central inverters spaced throughout the site. The entire perimeter of the Project site will be fenced for security and safety. Vegetative screening will be implemented at various locations to enhance the visual appeal of the site.
How does photovoltaic solar technology work?
Photovoltaic (PV) modules capture energy from the sun and produce direct current (DC) electricity. The DC electricity flows to electrical inverters where it is converted to alternating current (AC) electricity. The AC electricity is then combined and transformed to the electrical grid’s voltage at the project substation, where it connects to the utility’s system and is sold to the market.
Will the solar facility produce glare or noise?
Photovoltaic modules are designed to absorb sunlight, not reflect it. The amount of sunlight the modules absorb correlates directly to the amount of electricity produced, thus modules are designed to absorb maximum amounts of sunlight and minimize reflection. In fact, typical solar module glass is constructed with anti-reflective coatings. Solar facilities produce minimal noise as they do not contain large mechanical components. We design our facilities so that any increase in noise from operation is negligible at neighboring properties.
What is the 1041 approval process?
The 1041 process provides state and local government authorities power to “identify, designate, and regulate areas and activities of state interest through a local permitting process” (Colorado Department of Local Affairs). In this case, it provides Pueblo County the opportunity to enact a thorough land use review and approval process. Pronghorn’s 1041 application includes review and disclosure of potential environmental and social impacts, as well as compliance with the Pueblo County approval criteria or guidelines.
Prior to submitting a 1041 permit application to Pueblo County, we solicited feedback from the local community through an open-house event. Feedback we received as part of that event was included in the 1041 permit application. After the County deems Pronghorn’s 1041 permit application as complete, the County will set a date, time, and place for a hearing on the application. The County will publish notice of the hearing in a newspaper of general circulation in the County, not less than 30 days and not more than 60 days before the date of the hearing.
The County will then conduct a hearing and hear testimony/receive comments regarding the Project. In order for permit applicants to engage in 1041 activities, the proposed development must comply with and meet the standards of all the provisions of the regulations governing it. The County will typically reach a permit decision within 90-days of the conclusion of the hearing. The 1041 process typically takes 4-to-6 months to complete, after an application is submitted and deemed complete.
Information on Pronghorn’s open-house event and Pueblo County hearing will be posted to the Community Open House section of this webpage.
How long will the solar facility be operational?
The average life of a solar facility is approximately 30-40 years, but with proper maintenance, it can last much longer.
Who will maintain the property and vegetation?
Pronghorn will be responsible for maintaining the Pronghorn Solar Park property. We work diligently with consultants and local stakeholders to ensure proper ground cover, erosion and sediment control, and stormwater management occurs on the Project site. We also implement vegetation management plans and construction best management practices to promote the establishment of native vegetation and manage overgrowth and invasive plant species. As part of the development process, Pueblo County will review our vegetation management plan, which includes noxious weed management.
How will the solar facility proactively address health and safety concerns?
Safety is our number one priority. We manage our projects with the utmost regard for safety, sustainability, and long-term growth. Extensive employee and contractor training is required to meet our safety program standards, and our entire team, starting with our executives, makes a daily commitment to a safe work environment.
As part of Pronghorn’s 1041 permit application, the County will review the Project design. The Pueblo Rural Fire Protection District will also have the opportunity to review and comments on the Project. Pronghorn’s design includes setbacks for safety, and access roads sized to accommodate emergency response vehicles, with sufficient turnaround space for these vehicles.
Through careful engineering design and strict adherence to safety standards, solar projects pose minimal health and safety risks.
What happens at the end of the Project’s life?
At the end of the life of the Project, Pronghorn will be responsible for removing equipment and restoring the site to its original use (rangeland). As part of the 1041 review process, the County will review Pronghorn’s proposed decommissioning plan to ensure that ample considerations and funding are provided for when the life of the Project is over.
How will the development of the solar facility affect my community?
Construction of the solar park will bring new employment opportunities, a large direct investment in the community, and local business generated from the purchase of food, fuel, accommodations, and other local supplies. During the construction period there will be a relatively short-term increase in traffic volume and noise, typical of similar projects.
Once the Project is operational, daily traffic to and from the site will be minimal. Throughout the life of the Project, it will not burden Pueblo County services and utilities. The Project will, however, contribute significant property taxes to the community and provide clean energy to the greater Colorado area.
For more detailed information about this project, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, call (719) 299-0544, or fill out the form below.
For more detailed information about this project, please email email@example.com, call (719) 299-0544, or fill out and submit the form below.