The US unit of German developer Juwi and Colorado Springs Utilities have signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) for the 175MW Pike Solar project linked to a 25MW, four-hour battery storage system.

“This new agreement is exciting for Colorado Springs Utilities as we lead the way for battery storage in the state,” said Colorado Springs Utilities chief executive Aram Benyamin.

“The additional solar we will bring online will help diversify our energy mix and help us reach our ‘Energy Vision’ goal of achieving 80% carbon reduction by 2030.”

Juwi CEO Michael Martin said: “After reaching commercial operation on Palmer Solar earlier this year, Juwi is pleased to strengthen its relationship with Colorado Springs Utilities by building the Pike Solar and Storage project.”

The Pike Solar and Storage project, located in El Paso County, is slated to be completed in 2023. The development will the utility’s largest solar plant, and one of Colorado’s largest battery storage systems.

Energy stored in the battery system, which will be connected to both the solar array and the power grid and will have a duration of four hours, will be discharged during expensive peak hours or at night when the solar facility is not generating electricity.

The storage system will help integrate solar power with the rest of Colorado Springs Utilities’ energy portfolio, by shifting the hours during which some of the solar energy is delivered to the grid.

Over the 17-year term of the PPA, Pike Solar will supply enough renewable energy to power more than 55,000 homes annually. The project will boost the renewable energy share in Colorado Springs Utilities’ portfolio to 27%.

Pike is the second solar project that Juwi and Colorado Springs Utilities have worked on together. The first project, Palmer Solar, is a 60MW facility and is currently the largest solar project on Colorado Springs Utilities’ system.