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

September 14, 2011

DOE Finalizes $90.6 Million Loan Guarantee for Colorado Solar Project

DOE announced on September 9 that it finalized a $90.6 million loan guarantee to Cogentrix of Alamosa, LLC. The loan guarantee will support the Alamosa Solar Generating Project, a 30-megawatt high-concentration photovoltaic (HCPV) power generation facility. Located in south-central Colorado near the city of Alamosa, it represents one of the first utility-scale, HCPV energy generation facilities in the nation. Cogentrix estimates the project will support up to 100 construction jobs.

The proposed facility will use innovative HCPV systems consisting of concentrating optics and multi-junction solar cell panels that are 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. Cogentrix estimates the multi-junction solar cells are nearly 40% efficient, which is about double that of more traditional PV panels, making concentrated photovoltaic technology advantageous in areas with high amounts of direct sunlight, such as south-central Colorado. The facility is expected to produce enough clean renewable energy each year to power more than 6,500 homes, and it will avoid the emissions of more than 43,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. See the DOE press release.