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Data Series 693

Locations and Attributes of Utility-Scale Solar Power Facilities in Colorado and New Mexico, 2011

By Drew A. Ignizio and Natasha B. Carr


The data series consists of polygonal boundaries for utility-scale solar power facilities (both photovoltaic and concentrating solar power) located within Colorado and New Mexico as of December 2011. Attributes captured for each facility include the following: facility name, size/production capacity (in MW), type of solar technology employed, location, state, operational status, year the facility came online, and source identification information.

Facility locations and perimeters were derived from 1-meter true-color aerial photographs (2011) produced by the National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP); the photographs have a positional accuracy of about ±5 meters (accessed from the NAIP GIS service:

Solar facility perimeters represent the full extent of each solar facility site, unless otherwise noted. When visible, linear features such as fences or road lines were used to delineate the full extent of the solar facility. All related equipment including buildings, power substations, and other associated infrastructure were included within the solar facility. If solar infrastructure was indistinguishable from adjacent infrastructure, or if solar panels were installed on existing building tops, only the solar collecting equipment was digitized. The “Polygon” field indicates whether the "equipment footprint" or the full “site outline” was digitized. The spatial accuracy of features that represent site perimeters or an equipment footprint is estimated at +/- 10 meters. Facilities under construction or not fully visible in the NAIP imagery at the time of digitization (December 2011) are represented by an approximate site outline based on the best available information and documenting materials. The spatial accuracy of these facilities cannot be estimated without more up-to-date imagery – users are advised to consult more recent imagery as it becomes available. The “Status” field provides information about the operational status of each facility as of December 2011.

This data series contributes to an Online Interactive Energy Atlas developed by the U.S. Geological Survey. The Energy Atlas synthesizes data on existing and potential energy development in Colorado and New Mexico and includes additional natural resource data layers. This information may be used by decision makers to evaluate and compare the potential benefits and tradeoffs associated with different energy development strategies or scenarios. Interactive maps, downloadable data layers, metadata, and decision support tools are included in the Energy Atlas. The format of the Energy Atlas facilitates the integration of information about energy with key terrestrial and aquatic resources for evaluating resource values and minimizing risks from energy development activities.

Revised August 31, 2012

First posted August 13, 2012

For additional information contact:
Center Director,
USGS Fort Collins Science Center
2150 Centre Ave., Bldg. C
Fort Collins, CO 80526-8118

Part or all of this report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge.

Suggested citation:

Ignizio, D.A., and Carr, N.B., 2012, Locations and attributes of utility-scale solar power facilities in Colorado and New Mexico, 2011[abs.]: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 693. (Available at

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