Cogentrix Energy LLC says the Alamosa solar plant, a concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) project in Colorado's San Luis Valley region, has begun operation. According to the company, the 30 MW plant is the largest of its type.
The power generated is consumed by customers of Xcel Energy's subsidiary, Public Service Co. of Colorado (PSCo). The San Luis Valley was chosen for its outstanding sunlight characteristics, high elevation and proximity to the utility transmission system, Cogentrix says.
The 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. 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 U.S. space program.
The construction of the facility was contracted to M.A. Mortenson Co.