DOE offers solar loan

Energy Secretary Steven Chu on May 10 announced the offer of a conditional commitment for a $90.6 million loan guarantee to Cogentrix of Alamosa LLC. The loan guarantee will support the construction of the Alamosa Solar Generating Project, a 30 MW high concentration solar photovoltaic (HCPV) generation project in south-central Colorado near the city of Alamosa.

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.

According to the project sponsor, the multi-junction solar cells are nearly 40 percent efficient or about double that of more traditional PV panels used in areas with high amounts of direct sunlight, such as Alamosa County.

The Alamosa Solar Generating Project will sell all of its electricity output to Public Service Company of Colorado. The facility will produce approximately 75,000 MWh of renewable energy per year.

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