Lightsource bp has mobilized construction on two solar projects totaling 466 MW in Indiana and Colorado. The 173-MWdc Bellflower Solar project is located about 40 miles east of Indianapolis, Indiana in Henry and Rush Counties; and the 293-MW Sun Mount solar project is located in Pueblo, Colorado.

Credit: Lightsource bp

McCarthy Building Cos. was hired as the EPC contractor for the Sun Mountain solar project. The project will create 300 jobs during the 12-to-14-month construction period, to be filled mainly by local workers. Nearly 100 of the workers from Bighorn Solar will be transitioning to construct Sun Mountain, with 200 additional workers to be recruited from the local community.

“Partnering with Lightsource bp on another solar project in Pueblo, Colorado is very exciting — it provides another opportunity to offer McCarthy’s craft and foreman training programs, which are used at our Lightsource bp projects, and opens the door to new exciting careers in the rapidly growing solar industry for more area residents,” said Scott Canada, senior VP of McCarthy’s renewable energy and storage team. “We are proud of the success of our programs as many of those who helped build Bighorn Solar will be transitioning to join our team at Sun Mountain, furthering their careers while helping to expand Colorado’s diverse energy infrastructure.”

SOLV Energy is the contractor for Bellflower Solar. The project aims to enhance local biodiversity through co-located pollinator habitat on solar farms, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technology Office. The site will host over 1,000 acres of high- and low-density pollinator-friendly plantings to boost biodiversity and inform future low-impact solar development. The research team consists of the University of Illinois Chicago, the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, the Argonne National Laboratory, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

“Solar is a nationwide industry and job creator, and we’re beginning to see large-scale PV projects growing in size and impact throughout the Midwest. Projects like Bellflower are not only expanding access to clean power across the country, but also providing valuable job and training opportunities to American workers in rural communities. SOLV Energy is excited to partner with Lightsource bp in Indiana.”

Additionally, Bellflower Solar is expected to generate $30 million in property tax revenue for Rush and Henry counties over its operating lifetime. That money will be directed to local schools and other public services.

Both projects are expected to reach commercial operation by the end of 2022.

News item from Lightsource bp

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