SolarReserve wins PPA for two CSP projects with heat storage

With a capacity of 480.000 MWh/a the power plant Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project in Tonopah in Nevada, USA, will provide electricity for 75.000 housholds.<br><br><br>Photo:Solarreserve
With a capacity of 480.000 MWh/a the power plant Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project in Tonopah in Nevada, USA, will provide electricity for 75.000 housholds.


Photo:Solarreserve

By the agreement with PG&E SolarReserve ensures the sale of electricity from its CSP plant Rice Solar Energy Project. The solar tower plant will be located 30 miles northwest of the city of Blythe in eastern Riverside County, California. The solar power plant is scheduled to supply 450,000 MWh annually, enough to power up to 68,000 US homes during peak electricity periods, even without sunshine. This is possible because the plant uses a molten salt heat storage from United Technologies Corp (UTC), of which SolarReserve holds the exclusive wordwide licence. Until now, using energy storage for CSP plants is very unusual in the US because of the higher investment costs. In Spain´s CSP plants, heat storage is already popular due to state incentives.
“We are extremely pleased to contract with PG&E for the power generated from this important project,” said Kevin Smith, SolarReserve’s Chief Executive Officer. “Throughout the process, we have worked hard to minimize the project’s impact on local resources, which is why the project is being developed on privately-owned land that had been previously used as an air field. Further, the project will use a dry cooling system that minimizes water usage without significantly impacting the plant’s operational performance.”

Subject to comprehensive environmental review by cooperating state and federal agencies, the Rice project could break ground as early as spring of 2011 creating 450 construction jobs during the two-year construction period. The project will employ 45 permanent operations staff and will have an annual operating budget of more than US$ 5 million, with the majority of that budget spent in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.
The second PPA is for the 100 MW Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project near the town of Tonopah, Nevada. The project was developed by SolarReserve´s subsidiary Tonopah Solar Energy LLC. When completed, it is to supply 480,000 MWh of electricity per year, enough to power 75,000 homes during peak hours. The project is expected to break ground by the end of 2010.

Founded in 2007, SolarReserve LLC holds the exclusive wordwide licence to UTC´s molten salt and solar power tower technology. It has assembled a development portfolio of more than 3,000 MW in the USA and Europe, with early stage activities in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Australia, according to the company. The molten salt, concentrating solar power tower technology used by SolarReserve was demonstrated in California under a US Department of Energy-sponsored pilot project in the late 1990s. The 10 MW pilot facility utilized a molten salt receiver designed, engineered and assembled by Rocketdyne, now a part of United Technologies Corporation.

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