Politics

Bennet ‘Beams’ During Tour of Donor’s Solar Project

Organizations behind Pueblo project contributed $26,175 to campaign

Michael Bennet / AP

Democratic incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet was "beaming" Wednesday as he toured a solar project in Pueblo, Colo. that is being managed by donors to his reelection campaign.

The Pueblo Chieftain reported that Bennet toured the project in an article headlined "U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet beams at Pueblo solar project."

The sun shone brightly Wednesday as U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet toured the Comanche Solar Project southeast of Pueblo, called the largest solar field east of the Rocky Mountains.

Bennet, a Democrat up for re-election against El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn, said he has carried a bill that allows the solar industry tax credits through 2022. As he passed through the more than 820 acres of solar panels he asked members of Renewable Energy Systems, the builders of the field, about the capacities the field can handle once it is up and making power for Xcel Energy.

Sean Rooney, vice president of construction for RES, told the senator that more than 300 people worked on the project when construction was at its peak. Rooney said construction began in August 2015, and was "mechanically" completed in April.

The tour, led by Rooney and RES CEO Glen Davis, gave Bennet the lowdown on what the plant could do for energy in Colorado, as in powering 750 homes during peak hours. And they told him what it can’t do, produce energy at night.

The companies financing and managing the solar project have contributed $26,175 to Bennet’s reelection fight against Republican Darryl Glenn.

Bennet is the top recipient of donations from Xcel Energy, the company that will receive the energy produced from the Comanche Solar Project. Xcel Energy has donated $16,775 from individuals and its super PAC to Bennet so far this cycle.

Renewable Energy Systems Americas, which is building the solar field, has contributed $3,700 to Bennet. The company has also donated $5,400 to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Bennet is also the highest recipient of donations from Renewable Energy Systems’ super PAC, which has donated $3,700.

The super PAC of SunEdison, Inc., which is financing the project, also has donated $2,000 to Bennet’s campaign.