In December 2016, United Power energized our third utility scale solar field in out territory – Mavericks Solar Farm, a 6.5 megawatt (MWAC) solar energy plant located near Mead, CO. To help continue to meet our renewable energy goals, we partnered with Silicon Ranch Corporation, one of the nation’s leading developer, owner, and operators of solar energy plants. Silicon Ranch built, owns and maintains the solar field, while United Power will purchase the energy produced over the next 20 years.
The 50-acre facility features technology that allows more than 75,000 solar panels to track the sun from east to west and will produce enough low-cost, renewable power to help serve more than 1,200 United Power members annually. The solar farm is located off County Road 34, about 1.5 miles southwest of Mead Town Hall. The project site is just a few miles from Mead High School, home to the Mead Energy Academy, an innovative program that exposes students to the principles of energy generated from both conventional and renewable sources.
United Power, Silicon Ranch and McCarthy Building Companies, the construction firm that built the solar farm, are partnering with the Mead Energy Academy to create educational opportunities for students to learn more about the role solar energy plays in a diversified energy mix. As a tribute to the special partnership, the team has named the facility the Mavericks Solar Farm after the high school’s mascot.
The unique Mead Energy Academy program offers a choice between academic college-bound course work and practical workforce-ready courses in a variety of energy industries including: solar power, nuclear power, hydropower, fossil fuels, bioengineering technologies and wind power. Mead Energy Academy prepares students for college studies, technical education, certification programs and the workforce.
“The Mavericks Solar Farm will allow our energy students to study the construction and generation of clean and renewable solar energy. In addition, the Mavericks Solar Farm will provide Mead students access to live data of its electricity production,” said Alain Valatte, Mead High School Assistant Principal and Energy Academy Coordinator. “Similarly, the small scale solar farm to be installed at the high school, partially funded by United Power, will provide students with real-time educational opportunities concerning our school’s energy use and the impact that solar panels can have on reducing our consumption and carbon footprint.”
Mavericks Solar Farm Stats
Occupies 50 acres of solar panels
Expected to generate 16,209,000 kilowatthours annually
Will produce zero carbon emissions
Enough electricity to power 1,200 homes annually
Generation Capacity: 6.5 megawatt
Type of Installation: Ground-mount, single-axis tracking, thin-film
Owner Operator: Silicon Ranch Corporation
Power Purchaser: United Power