Cogentrix Energy LLC will receive a $90.6 million conditional loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy to build a solar plant in Colorado. The company is a unit of Goldman Sachs.
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The 30-megawatt Alamosa Solar Generating Project will use concentrating photovoltaic technology that focuses the sun’s rays to increase output, according to a statement today from the Department of Energy.
The facility will have some interesting features, including optical equipment and multijunction solar cells from Amonix Inc. that , according to the DOE, boost conversion efficiency to about 40 percent, or nearly double that of conventional photovoltaic panels.
It will also use a dual-axis tracking system to follow the sun’s movement throughout the day and maximize power production. The electricity generated will be enough to power more than 6,500 homes and all of it will be purchased by Public Service Co. of Colorado, an Xcel Energy Inc. utility.
Cogentrix operates 17 power plants in the US, mostly ffueled by by natural gas and coal. It expanded into the photovoltaic sector with a 2009 purchase of two solar-thermal facilities in California that have 43 megawatts of capacity.
Overall, the DOE’s loan guarantee program has committed more than $7.5 billion in loan guarantees for solar energy projects.