Largest PV Solar Plant In Colorado Now Open

SunPower, a solar panel manufacturer, and Xcel Energy, a utility provider, have announced the completion of one solar facility and the construction of another in Colorado’s Alamosa County. The Greater Sandhill solar power plant, a 19 megawatt photovoltaic system, was completed and commissioned this March.

Greater Sandhill is now generating enough power to serve almost 5,000 homes each year when at capacity. The solar power plant began construction in the summer of 2010, and is said to have created 100 jobs in the area during its development. SunPower is using its proprietary solar tracking system at the plant, which it claims can generate up to 25% more energy than conventional systems by titling panels towards the sun as it moves across the sky.

Image via SunPower

Also under development from SunPower is another solar power plant in Alamosa County. Calling the project the San Luis Valley Solar Ranch, the system will be a 30 megawatt photovoltaic solar power facility built on 216 acres of private land that is expected to be completed late this year.

Alamosa County seems to be a bit of a solar hotbed in Colorado, as we recently reported on Morrison Construction’s project in the area. Colorado as well is taking greater steps to be green, being one of the top states in terms of energy efficiency, along with building efficiency upgrades at local schools and a historic courthouse.

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Aaron Colter is a freelance writer and marketing consultant in Portland, Oregon. A graduate of Purdue University, he has worked for the NCAA, Dark Horse Comics, Willamette Week, AOL, The Huffington Post, Top Shelf Productions, DigitalTrends, theMIX agency, SuicideGirls, EarthTechling, d'Errico Studios and others. He is also the co-founder of BananaStandMedia.com, a free record label, recording studio, and distribution service for independent musicians.