The project is one of the first to integrate an industrial solar installation into a conventional electrical power plant.
The 4-thermal-megawatt (MWth) solar installation will use parabolic trough collectors developed by Abengoa Solar.
Construction is expected to start within a month and the plant is expected to be operational by the end of the year.
The project, awarded to Abengoa Solar by Xcel, is the first project under an Innovative Clean Technology program that has been approved for Xcel Energy by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission.
The goal of the project is to prove that the heat produced by a solar facility can increase the efficiency of a conventional power plant while also lowering carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Successful integration of this technology may enable future large-scale applications of this technology into other power plants. The 4-thermal-megawatt solar installation will use parabolic trough collectors developed by Abengoa Solar.
"We continue to move forward in developing ways to help us reduce our impact on the environment," said David Wilks, president of energy supply for Xcel Energy. "If this demonstration works, we may be able to implement this type of technological advance in other coal-fired power plants to help further reduce carbon dioxide emissions in Colorado and possibly other areas of our service territory."