Media Advisory/Photo Opportunity: Gov. Bill Ritter Scheduled to Help Dedicate Colorado State University Solar Plant

Note to Reporters: Due to space limitations, this event is not open to the public. Reporters must RSVP to Emily Wilmsen no later than 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21 to attend.


Colorado State University will officially dedicate one of the largest solar power systems at a U.S. university – a two-megawatt solar plant on its Foothills Campus in Fort Collins – with partners Fotowatio Renewable Ventures, Xcel Energy, Fort Collins-based Advanced Energy and others.

A brief dedication ceremony will be at 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 22, at the Atmospheric Science West Building, 3915 W. Laporte Ave., Fort Collins. Guided tours of the solar power plant will follow.


Scheduled speakers include:

• Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter
• Joe Blake, chancellor, Colorado State University System
• Tony Frank, president, Colorado State University
• Jose Benjumea, president, Fotowatio Renewable Ventures


Covering 15 acres, the two-megawatt solar power plant will generate more than three and a half million kilowatt hours of clean electricity annually – enough to meet more than 10 percent of the electricity consumed by the CSU Foothills campus.

Colorado State University, the landowner, joined with utility Xcel Energy and renewable energy developer Fotowatio Renewable Ventures to build the facility. Fotowatio Renewable Ventures owns and operates the plant. Xcel will purchase the renewable energy credits in support of Colorado’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard – a statewide policy requiring utilities to generate 20 percent of their power from renewable energy sources by 2020.

A power purchase agreement enables Colorado State to purchase electricity produced by the plant at fixed rate for 20 years, providing CSU with protection against future rate increases without any upfront costs to the university.