World's Largest Concentrated Solar Farm to be Built in Colorado
Colorado is well on its way to becoming home to the largest concentrated photovoltaic solar farm in the world. Cogentrix, a subsidiary of the Goldman Sachs Group, has signed a contract to develop and build the facility, which will sell power to the Public Service Company of Colorado, a subsidiary of Xcel Energy. Cogentrix recently secured all of the necessary permits to begin building the concentrated solar farm, but the company is still finalizing its financing for the project. Amonix, Inc., a leading designer of concentrated solar power systems, has been chosen to manufacture the farm's solar panels.
Construction of the concentrated solar farm is expected to begin on 225 acres near Alamosa in the San Luis Valley in early 2011 and be completed in the summer of 2012. If all goes as planned, the 30-megawatt farm will produce enough electricity to power 6,500 homes per year.
Concentrated solar power uses lenses or mirrors that can be adjusted as the sun moves across the horizon to refract the maximum amount of light possible onto solar panels. These panels are packed with photovoltaic cells that convert light into energy. Concentrated solar power has been shown to produce more electricity than other forms of solar energy gathering.