Hydropower, Solar

World’s Largest CPV Project Has PPA

Cogentrix Energy, an energy developer focused on coal, gas, hydro and solar, said this week it had reached agreement with the utility Xcel Energy to sell power from a 30 MW concentrating photovoltaics plant (CPV) in Colorado.

Amonix, a long-time producer of CPV devices, will be providing the equipment for the project. When built over the next couple of years, the CPV system will be the world’s largest.

CPV devices use mirrors to concentrate light onto a small silicon cell. They are typically more efficient and work in high-heat environments. The Amonix module is around 25 percent efficient.

CPV made great strides during the silicon shortage between 2005 and 2008. As silicon prices have dropped, however, CPV hasn’t looked as attractive. The additional cost of the added concentrators often makes them less cost-competitive with traditional PV. To date, there are only about 30 MW of CPV installed world-wide.

In April Amonix, raised $130 million from high-profile investors in a series B round led by Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers. The capital will be used to increase manufacturing capacity and deploy larger arrays.

The Cogentrix facility will be located on approximately 225 acres of land in the San Luis Valley of Colorado immediately adjacent to the existing transmission system of Xcel Energy.