Lightsource bp has launched the development of the 298MW Sun Mountain solar farm in Pueblo in the US state of Colorado.

The power generated by the new solar farm will be supplied to Xcel Energy under a long-term power purchase agreement.

The Sun Mountain project will power the equivalent of 53,540 homes, said Lightsource bp, which is a 50:50 joint venture between Lightsource Renewable Energy and BP.

Lightsource bp will finance, construct, own, and operate the Sun Mountain solar farm. Construction on the new wind farm in Colorado is targeted to start by the end of this year.

The project is expected to generate 300 jobs during construction.

Once commissioned, the Sun Mountain solar farm will offset 404,080 tonnes of CO2 annually. This is equivalent of removing 87,000 cars off the road each year.

Lightsource bp Americas CEO Kevin Smith said: “Lightsource bp is continuing to expand our investment in Colorado’s clean power future. As long-term members of the Pueblo community, we are thrilled this project will further contribute to the local jobs ecosystem and tax base while delivering cost-effective renewable energy for decades to come.”

The Sun Mountain project is Lightsource bp’s second in Pueblo after the 300MW Bighorn solar farm.

Xcel Energy–Colorado president Alice Jackson said: “Xcel Energy is thrilled to be working with Lightsource bp on another major solar project in Pueblo that adds even more renewable energy to our system, while also creating jobs in the community.

“This collaboration is a win for Pueblo and for the State of Colorado and demonstrates our commitment to the communities as we lead the energy transition. We will continue to explore new and innovative projects that benefit our customers.”

The Sun Mountain and Bighorn solar farms involve a combined investment of over $500m. The Bighorn solar farm, which began operations earlier this month, will also supply its power to Xcel Energy.

Apart from Xcel Energy, the Bighorn solar farm has been powering EVRAZ’s Pueblo steel mill.

Put together, Sun Mountain and Bighorn will contribute property tax payments of $48m to Pueblo over their lifespan.