This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

October 11, 2006

SunEdison to Build an 8-Megawatt Solar Power Plant in Colorado

Xcel Energy announced in late September its selection of SunEdison, LLC to build, own, and operate an 8-megawatt solar photovoltaic power plant, which will be the largest of its type in the nation. Xcel Energy released its request for proposals (RFP) for the solar facility in south central Colorado in late March. SunEdison's response includes 6.8 megawatts of advanced flat-plate solar panels (the type you might mount on your roof) as well as 1.2 megawatts of concentrating photovoltaic units, which track the sun to focus sunlight onto solar cells. The units will concentrate the sunlight by a factor of 500, employing a relatively small area of high-efficiency solar cells to convert that sunlight into electricity. Xcel Energy will purchase the power and the renewable energy credits associated with the plant, which is expected to be online by the end of next year. See the Xcel Energy press release, and for background, see the April 5th story on the RFP from this newsletter and the "Concentrator PV Systems" page on DOE's Solar Energy Technologies Program Web site.

SunEdison has extensive experience installing large solar power systems, including a 723-kilowatt system installed in July on a food distribution facility in Ontario, California. The 5-acre roof-mounted system uses solar modules from Kyocera Solar, Inc. and is owned and operated by Greenlease, Inc., which sells the solar power to the distribution facility. SunEdison also plans to build a 1-megawatt system at Oakland International Airport in Oakland, California. The Port of Oakland has agreed to buy the power from that project when it is completed in February 2007. See the press releases from Kyocera Solar and the Port of Oakland.

Photo of two sets of about 25 rows of solar arrays, each consisting of 40 solar modules, in a cleared section of forest.

Among the solar power systems recently installed in California is this 356-kilowatt system owned by the City of Napa.
Credit: PowerLight Corporation

SunEdison's projects in California are part of an ongoing solar energy boom that is sweeping the state. Among the recently completed solar power projects are a 1.2-megawatt system installed on Tony's Fine Foods in West Sacramento, using solar modules from Sharp Electronics Corporation; and a 356-kilowatt system in Napa, installed at a city water pumping station by PowerLight Corporation. Meanwhile, Integrated Power Corporation (iPower) has started building the first large-scale commercial installation of a single-ply membrane solar roof. The Savoy Building at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco will benefit from a new 3,000-square-foot roof that will also generate up to 40 kilowatts of power. See the press releases from Sharp (PDF 16 KB), PowerLight, and iPower. Download Adobe Reader.