Photo courtesy of Stantec
This solar project provides enough power to cover about 6,500 Colorado homes. It is the largest plant of its type in the world.

2012 Award of Merit

Industrial/Manufacturing Category

Alamosa Solar Project

Alamosa, Colo.

Cogentrix Energy completed construction and start-up of a concentrating photovoltaic facility near Alamosa, Colo., that is the largest plant of its type in the world. The site of the 30-MW facility, on 225 acres in the San Luis Valley, was chosen for its outstanding sunlight, high elevation and the presence of an existing 115-kV transmission line.

The solar facility provides enough power to run 6,500 Colorado homes and eliminate generation of nearly 43,250 tons of carbon dioxide a year.

The mountainous terrain of the site required the engineers to account for extreme temperature variations, a frost line of 48 in. below grade, a relatively high water table and the presence of rodents. The project team used materials that could tolerate such extreme conditions.

Key Players

Owner: Cogentrix Energy LLC, Charlotte, N.C.

Architect: Stantec, Charlotte, N.C.

General Contractor: Mortenson Construction, Minneapolis, Minn.

Entry submitted by Stantec