World's Largest Concentrating Solar PV Project Moves Ahead

The largest concentrating solar photovoltaic (CPV) plant in the world and one of the first utility-scale CPV plants in the US just received critical support from the US Department of Energy (DOE).

The DOE finalized a $90.6 million loan guarantee for the 30 megawatt (MW) Alamosa Solar Generating Project in south-central Colorado. 

The plant, to be built by Cogentrix, will consist 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.

Cogentrix estimates the multi-junction solar cells are nearly 40% efficient – about double that of traditional PV panels. 

Amonix is supplying the solar panels. The company completed a high-profile series B funding round of $130 million in 2010 and now has manufacturing facilities in Nevada and Arizona.

The Alamosa Solar Generating Project is expected to provide electricity to over 6,500 homes, while avoiding 43,000 metric tons of carbon emissions a year.

The project is expected to create about 100 solar jobs and will source more than 80% of its components in the US.

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