Cogentrix Energy LLC, a unit of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), received a $90.6 million conditional loan guarantee from the U.S. Energy Department to build a solar plant in Colorado.

The 30-megawatt Alamosa Solar Generating Project will use concentrating photovoltaic technology that focuses the sun’s rays to increase output, according to a statement today from the Energy Department.

The concentrating solar plant near the city of Alamosa will have optical equipment and multijunction solar cells from Amonix Inc. that boost conversion efficiency to about 40 percent, or nearly double that of conventional photovoltaic panels, the agency said. It will also use a dual-axis tracking system to follow the sun’s movement throughout the day and maximize power production.

Public Service Co. of Colorado, an Xcel Energy Inc. (XEL) utility, will purchase all of the generated electricity, which is expected to be enough to power more than 6,500 homes.

Cogentrix operates 17 power plants in the U.S. and one in Turkey, fueled mainly by natural gas and coal. It expanded into solar with the February 2009 purchase of two solar-thermal facilities in Daggett, California, that have 43 megawatts of capacity.

The Energy Department’s loan guarantee program has committed more than $7.5 billion in loan guarantees for solar energy projects.

To contact the reporters on this story: Andrew Herndon in San Francisco at aherndon2@bloomberg.net; Brian Wingfield in Washington at bwingfield3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net

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