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

May 11, 2011

DOE Offers $90.6 Million Loan Guarantee for Colorado Solar Facility

DOE announced on May 10 the offer of a conditional commitment for a $90.6 million loan guarantee to Cogentrix of Alamosa, LLC, for one of the largest high-concentration solar photovoltaic (HCPV) generation projects in the world. Then guarantee will support the construction of the Alamosa Solar Generating Project, a 30-megawatt (MW) net capacity HCPV project located in south-central Colorado near Alamosa. Cogentrix estimates the project will create about 75 construction jobs and 10 operations jobs.

The proposed facility will use HCPV systems consisting of concentrating optics and multi-junction solar cell panels controlled by a dual-axis tracking system. The tracking system rotates and tilts the cells throughout the day so the surface of the solar panel maintains an optimal angle with respect to the sun. The multi-junction solar cells are nearly 40% efficient or about double that of traditional PV panels used in areas with high amounts of direct sunlight, according to the project sponsor. The project, which is expected to produce approximately 75,000 megawatt hours of energy per year, will sell all of its electricity to Public Service Company of Colorado. It will be enough to power more than 6,500 homes, and it will avoid the emissions of more than 43,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year.

DOE's Loan Programs Office administers loan guarantee programs that support the deployment of innovative technologies that avoid, reduce, or sequester greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, it has the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Loan Program, which supports the development of advanced vehicle technologies. Under the two both programs, DOE has issued loans or loan guarantees and offered conditional commitments for loan guarantees totaling more than $30 billion to support 28 clean energy projects across the United States. See the DOE press release and the Loan Program Office website.