GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — What if a coal-fired power plant could use energy from the sun to reduce how much coal it needs to generate electricity?
Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy said Wednesday that it is testing a demonstration hybrid solar-coal project at its Cameo Generating Station near Grand Junction this year.
It uses curved glass mirrors to concentrate energy from the sun and provide heat that could be used to produce steam. The steam turns a generator that makes electricity. The idea is to make steam without having to burn as much coal and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The company Abengoa Solar developed the parabolic-trough technology that concentrates the thermal energy from the sun.