Solar Energy

Alamosa Solar, CPV solar plant, Solar Farms are like McDonald’s right now. They are popping up all over the place. Most don’t have quite so dramatic a view as Alamosa, pictured above, but wind farms are quickly becoming an important part of our nation’s energy mix.  And it’s soooo, about time we started moving towards reusable energy on this broad a scale.

One of the largest farms ever to be constructed is the Alamosa Solar Generating Plant. This plant sits on 225 acres. It was constructed by Mortenson using 492 dual axis Amonix 7700 panels each of which contained 7,560 fresnel lens to concentrate sunlight 500 times and multi-junction photovoltaic cells.

That is just a really really super long way of saying this company named Amonix used 7,700 of their own solar panels to help build the plant. Within those panels there were 7,560 extremely strong optical lenses that capture every bit of light from any light source and intensifies it. Basically, it’s like an incredibly big rechargeable battery with a solar panel on its back.

This project is estimated to generate approximately 76,000MWh per year instead of using 249 million cubic feet of natural gas to operate a conventional gas-fired power plant. Basically, the Alamosa plant is a shiny new electric train that replaced the old dusty environmentally unfit little engine that couldn’t anymore. This new process reduces carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 43,250 tons per year. The globe emits billions of co2 emissions per year so it’s not like its making a huge dent in the world, but if everyone were to follow suit…

The station was built 2 years ago in San Luis Valley, Colorado. It’s a 30.72MW AC concentrated photovoltaics powerstation. The station institutes dual axis tracking meaning it moves when the sun moves. Second, it uses concentrating photovoltaics, which is taking huge amounts of sunlight and transforming it into electricity. Third, it uses multi junction cells that take each level of sunray energy and distributes it to appropriated receptors so all energy gets used efficiently and nothing gets wasted.

Imagine if you had one of these in your back yard. You would never have to pay an electric bill again. The amount of energy and electricity this plant transforms and disburses is truly astronomical. I’m sure it services Colorado well and being certified for operation for 50 years, I’m sure it will continue to.