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Colorado Integrated Solar Project -- Article by Xcel Energy

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Colorado Integrated Solar Project -- Article by Xcel Energy

A hybrid solar-coal approach can increase plant efficiency. In spring of 2010, Xcel Energy began testing a first-of-its-kind demonstration of a hybrid solar-coal approach, using parabolic-trough solar technology integrated with a coal-fired power plant. The project, located at our Cameo Generating Plant near Grand Junction, Colo., was designed to: Increase the plant’s efficiency Decrease the use of coal Test the commercial viability of concentrating solar power thermal integration Lower carbon dioxide emissions

 

Abengoa Solar developed the parabolic-trough technology, which concentrated solar energy to provide supplemental heat input for producing electricity at the Cameo plant.

 

The test results were positive. While only a small, pilot-scale test, the solar energy produced by the project increased plant efficiency by more than 1 percent and replaced more than 260 tons of coal during the course of the test. It also reduced the plant’s air emissions by about 600 tons of carbon dioxide, 2,000 pounds of nitrogen oxides and 5,400 pounds of sulfur dioxides.

 

As part of a planned plant retirement, Cameo Generating Plant ceased operations at the end of December 2010. The solar demonstration concluded at the same time. The equipment was dismantled and taken to the Solar Technology Acceleration Center (SolarTAC) for additional testing.

 

The solar integration project was the first initiative under Colorado’s Innovative Clean Technology program, an initiative to test promising new technologies with the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions and result in other environmental improvements.

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