State of Colorado presents NextEra Energy Resources with Outstanding Lessee of the Year Award

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Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2023

Kristin Kemp, Colorado State Land Board, 720-666-0437, 
NextEra Energy Resources media hotline, 561-694-4442, 

DENVER — On Dec. 13, 2023, NextEra Energy Resources received the Outstanding Lessee of the Year Award from the Colorado State Land Board at the agency’s annual awards ceremony in Denver.  

The Colorado State Land Board has existed since statehood to oversee three million acres of trust land for the benefit of Colorado schools. In the past five years the agency has generated more than $1 billion for public schools by issuing surface leases for assorted uses. The agency partners with more than 3,400 customers and grants four awards to exemplary lessees annually. NextEra Energy Resources is the 2023 recipient of the premier award.

NextEra Energy Resources, together with its affiliated entities, is the world's largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun, and a world leader in energy storage. Since 2003, the company’s subsidiaries have been helping fuel Colorado’s economic growth and quality of life. As of year-end 2022, the company invested approximately $4.3 billion in the state. Annually, the company pays approximately $10.7 million in land payments and $5.2 million in property taxes.

NextEra Energy Resources holds 12 production leases with the State Land Board that generate 445.47 megawatts (MW) of energy through both wind and solar energy centers. This is enough energy to power more than 116,900 homes annually (assuming one solar MW powers 200 homes per year and one wind MW powers 341 homes per year). NextEra Energy Resources is the largest producer of renewable energy on trust land. Additionally, the company is the largest renewable energy producer in Colorado, with 19 energy centers that generate over 3,000 MW

“It is an honor to receive the Lessee of the Year Award from the Colorado State Land Board,” said Sam Massey, vice president of development at NextEra Energy Resources. “At NextEra Energy Resources, we believe in building strong relationships and supporting the communities we serve. We look forward to continuing our work with the Colorado State Land Board.”

Notably, NextEra Energy Resources’ 2,300-acre Thunder Wolf Energy Center in Pueblo County is located entirely on trust land and generates up to 248 MW of energy and 100 MW of battery energy storage. This is enough energy to power more than 42,500 homes annually. The energy storage component of this project uses batteries to store renewable energy and make it available even when the sun isn’t shining, improving the reliability and efficiency of the electric grid and making renewable energy more accessible. Thunder Wolf Energy Center is one of the largest renewable energy sites in the state, second only to the Neptune Energy Center, which is also a NextEra Energy Resources project.

The Outstanding Lessee of the Year Award has the following criteria:

“This premier award is granted to an exemplary State Land Board lessee. The lessee has demonstrated superior stewardship practices, worked cooperatively with agency staff and helped generate revenue for the agency's beneficiaries.”

The State Land Board has been leasing trust land for renewable energy since the 1990s. In fact, the state’s first wind turbine was located on a trust land parcel in Weld County. Today, the agency is actively increasing renewable energy leasing on trust land in order to contribute to the state's goal of moving the electric grid to 100% renewable sources by 2040. More than 10% of all renewable energy produced in Colorado is generated on trust land. 

“NextEra Energy Resources is a clean energy leader in our state and our country, and we’re proud that they’ve continued to site so many of their Colorado projects on trust land properties across the state,” said Bill Ryan, director of the State Land Board. “On behalf of our Governor-appointed Commissioner, I’m delighted to have the opportunity to present NextEra Energy Resources with our agency’s premier award in recognition of their exemplary work. Not only does their work generate clean energy for Coloradans, but also NextEra Energy Resources is helping fund public schools by choosing to site projects on trust land.”


About the Colorado State Board of Land Commissioners: The Colorado State Land Board is a constitutionally created agency that manages a $4.4 billion endowment of assets for the intergenerational benefit of Colorado’s K-12 schoolchildren and public institutions. The agency is the second-largest landowner in Colorado and generates revenue on behalf of beneficiaries by leasing nearly three million surface acres and four million subsurface acres for agriculture, grazing, recreation, commercial real estate, rights-of-way, renewable energy, oil, gas, and solid minerals. The agency is entirely self-funded and receives no tax dollars.  

About NextEra Energy Resources: NextEra Energy Resources, LLC (together with its affiliated entities, “NextEra Energy Resources”) is a clean energy leader and is one of the largest wholesale generators of electric power in the U.S., with approximately 27,400 megawatts of total net generating capacity, primarily in 40 states and Canada as of year-end 2022. NextEra Energy Resources is the world’s largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun, a world leader in battery storage and is driving the development of the green hydrogen economy. The business operates clean, emissions-free nuclear power generation facilities in New Hampshire and Wisconsin as part of the NextEra Energy nuclear fleet. NextEra Energy Resources offers a wide range of clean energy solutions to help businesses and customers across the country meet their emissions reduction goals. NextEra Energy Resources, LLC is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Florida-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE). For more information, visit