Cogentrix Energy, LLC announced recently that the largest concentrating photovoltaic electric power generating facility in the world has successfully begun commercial operation. The Alamosa Solar Generating plant, located in the San Luis Valley of Colorado, produces 30 megawatts of solar power for use by customers of Xcel Energy’s subsidiary, Public Service Company of Colorado (“PSCo”). The San Luis Valley was chosen for its’ outstanding sunlight characteristics, high elevation and an ability to easily deliver the solar project’s output to the utility transmission system.
The Alamosa Solar project site is approximately 225 acres and consists of over 500 dual-axis, pedestal mounted tracker assemblies, each capable of producing approximately 60 kW of electricity from the sun. Each tracker assembly is 70 feet wide by 50 feet high and contains 7,560 Fresnel lenses that concentrate sunlight by a multiple of 500 onto multijunction solar cells developed originally as part of the US space program. The construction of the facility was contracted to M.A. Mortenson Co.
Tom Bonner, President of Cogentrix stated, “Cogentrix has a long history of developing, constructing, and operating power plants employing a variety of technologies. We’re proud of the Alamosa Solar project and we are excited for what it means to Colorado, Xcel Energy and the US solar sector”.Cogentrix is a leading developer, owner and operator of independent power in North America. Cogentrix was founded in 1983 and has continually been at the forefront of the development and evolution of the independent power market. Cogentrix has been directly responsible for the development, engineering, construction and operation of fossil and renewable power facilities with a combined generating capability in excess of 5,000 MWs.