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Xcel Energy and SunPower Corp. have signed a power purchase agreement to build a 50 MW solar PV plant in Colorado's San Luis Valley.

Plans call for SunPower to design and build one of its Oasis fully integrated, modular solar power blocks on a 320-acre site. Construction of the solar power plant is contingent on the project securing all required permits, interconnection rights and financing. SunPower expects to start construction in 2015 and to achieve full commercial operation by the end of 2016.

"We are adding large-scale solar that competes with and surpasses other forms of generation alternatives, in terms of price, over the life of the project," says David Eves, president and CEO of Public Service Co. of Colorado, an Xcel Energy company. "This benefits all of our customers - both environmentally and economically."

SunPower has already constructed two solar power plants in the San Luis Valley that currently generate power for Xcel Energy's Colorado customers. The 19 MW Greater Sandhill plant has been operating since 2010, and the 30 MW San Luis Valley Solar Ranch began delivering energy in 2011.

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