2012 Award of Merit
Alamosa Solar Project
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.
Owner: Cogentrix Energy LLC, Charlotte, N.C.
Architect: Stantec, Charlotte, N.C.
General Contractor: Mortenson Construction, Minneapolis, Minn.
Entry submitted by Stantec