OREANDA-NEWS. SunEdison has started construction of a 156MW solar project in Colorado that will supply generation to an Xcel Energy subsidiary.

SundEdison today said it had started work on and arranged $253mn in financing for what will be the largest solar project in the state. The Comanche Solar project in Pueblo, Colorado, will supply Xcel's Public Service of Colorado with about 300GWh/yr under 25-year power-purchase agreement. Pricing terms were not disclosed.

The project, chosen by Xcel during a solicitation over other sources, including natural gas, will put the company closer toward satisfying its 30pc by 2020 renewable energy procurement obligation under the state's renewable energy standard.

The 156MW site will be partially built by RES Americas, which has partnered with SunEdsion on six previous renewables projects. SunEdison said it expects the project will be finished early next year

"It demonstrates that large-scale solar power can play an increasingly larger role in our customers' energy future at a competitive price," Public Service of Colorado president David Eves said.

SunEdison bought the project last year from the original developer, Boulder, Colorado-based Community Energy. It is one of many acquisitions by the company in recent months, funded by a $1.5bn line of credit with private equity firm First Reserve. SunEdison last week announced a separate $1bn line of credit led by Goldman Sachs, with the option to expand the facility to $2bn if needed.

SunEdison recently finalized the $2.2bn purchase of residential solar developer Vivint Solar, while taking on another $150mn loan from Deutsche Bank to buy a stake in the 420MW Four Brothers solar farm in Utah with Dominion.

The capacity growth is part of SunEdison's strategy to deploy up to 4,500MW of new renewable energy capacity by next year.