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FAQs

We’ve received lots of interest in the Bighorn Solar project and our partnership with Xcel Energy and EVRAZ North America, so we’ve put together a list of the most commonly asked questions, and their answers:

How are Lightsource BP, Xcel Energy and EVRAZ North America partnering together?

Lightsource BP will be the owner and operator of Bighorn Solar and Xcel Energy will purchase the electricity it generates under a power contract with Lightsource BP. Bighorn Solar will be built on unused land owned by EVRAZ Rocky Mountain Steel and will power its steel mill. EVRAZ North America is Xcel Energy’s largest retail electric customer in Colorado, and Bighorn Solar is a key part of an agreement between the companies to give the steel mill electricity price certainty through 2041.

Who is paying for the installation of the solar system?

Lightsource BP will finance, build, own, operate and maintain the solar system. Xcel Energy pays Lightsource BP for the renewable energy generated by the solar farm at a fixed cost for 20 years.

Is there any danger having the solar project in our community?

A solar project is about as safe as a facility can be. There are no air emissions from the facility. There are no chemicals. No trucks will be coming and going on a daily basis once construction is complete. The power will leave the solar project on lines just like the power lines in your neighborhood.

What about glare?

Glare is produced by reflected sunlight. The more sunlight a solar panel absorbs, the more electricity it can produce. Solar panels are designed to absorb light, and only reflect a small amount of the sunlight that hits them as compared to most other everyday objects. For example, solar panels reflect significantly less light than flat water.

Are solar farms irreversible development?

The posts on which the panels are mounted typically take up less than 1% of the land area, with the majority of the site being grassland. At the end of the project the installation will be dismantled and removed without harming the land – we make sure that the land is restored to its original state.

Will the solar farm cause traffic disruption?

Once the solar farm is in place it requires very little maintenance and approximately monthly visits in regular cars or 4x4s would cause no traffic disruption. While the solar farm is being constructed, a traffic management plan will be put in place.

Do solar installations pose a health risk?

Solar is a passive technology which doesn’t produce any harmful by-products. All electrical equipment is designed to NEC code compliant with local jurisdictions and relevant equipment certified to UL.

How are the panels kept clean?

Generally, rainfall helps to keep the panels free of dust and dirt. Several times a year, the panels will be thoroughly cleaned using specialist equipment, to make sure the installation is in the best possible condition.

Are solar farms noisy?

Solar farms do not have any moving parts and as such do not emit any noise beyond the site boundaries.