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Charlotte firm gets $91M loan guarantee for Colorado solar farm

Charlotte-based Cogentrix Energy will get a $90.6 million federal loan guarantee to help finance a 30-megawatt solar farm planned for San Luis valley in Colorado.

Our sister publication, the Denver Business Journal, says the U.S. Department of Energy announced the loan guarantee Tuesday. The farm, announced in August, is expected to cost about $150 million to build. It is to start producing power next year.

The Denver paper describes the innovative solar farm:
The Cogentrix plant is a “High Concentration Solar Photovoltaic” (HCPV) power plant. The panels tilt to track the sun across the sky and the panels concentrate the sun’s light onto a solar cell that converts the light into electricity.
The multi-junction solar cells are nearly 40 percent efficient at converting the light into electricity, or about double the efficiency of traditional solar power panels, according to Cogentrix and the DOE.

The farm will be built on 225 acres. The power will be sold under a 20-year contract to Xcel Enery for distribution. It will provide enough electricity to power 6,500 homes, Cogentrix says.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu praises the project in a prepared statement.

“Colorado has long been a leader in the development and deployment of renewable energy, and this project builds on that record,” he says. “By deploying an innovative, commercially-ready technology at utility scale, the Alamosa Solar Generating Project is increasing the generation of clean, renewable power, creating jobs and strengthening the U.S. economy.”

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