Tuesday, February 26, 2008

World Class Solar

Late last week, we had another major solar plant announcement from Spain. But this time, it's going to be built in Arizona. Big solar plants are beginning to show up on the planning boards of big utilities everywhere. And there will be more. Here is part of the story from the Abengoa Solar's press release. (watch video)

Abengoa solar to build the world’s largest solar plant.
Arizona Public Service Co. announced as partner.
280-Megawatt plant will sell around $4 billion in clean electricity over 30 years.
Madrid, 21 February 2008

Abengoa Solar, a subsidiary of a multi-billion-dollar international technology company, has signed a contract with Arizona Public Service Co. (APS), one of Arizona’s leading energy utilities, to build, own and operate what would be the largest solar power plant in the world if operating today.

The plant, scheduled to go into operation by 2011, is located 70 miles southwest of Phoenix, near Gila Bend, Arizona. It will sell the electricity produced to APS over the next 30 years for a total revenue of around $4 billion, bringing over $1 billion in economic benefits to the state of Arizona.

Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano praised the joint efforts of Abengoa Solar and APS. “This is a major milestone for Arizona in our efforts to increase the amount of renewable energy available in the United States,” the Governor said. “Arizona is leading the way in protecting our world for future generations through increasing the amount of renewable energy, combating climate change, fighting for air quality and much more. This plant will offer Arizonans a clean and efficient source of energy.” (clip)

According to the APS release:

“APS is committed to making Arizona the solar capital of the world and bringing affordable renewable energy to all our customers,” said APS President Don Brandt. “The Arizona Corporation Commission has challenged Arizona utilities to be leaders in renewable energy, and we are responding aggressively.” (clip)

Santiago Seage, CEO of Abengoa Solar, said, "This project not only shows leadership in Arizona and the southwest, but for America. This project will help usher in a new era of large clean and efficient solar power plants. Our commitment to solar energy is global and we will work with utilities, regulators and companies worldwide to make plants like this happen by leveraging the technologies we have been developing over two decades. We continue to advance these technologies in our research and development centers in Europe and the United States.”

The solar plant has been named Solana, meaning “a sunny place” in Spanish. The Solana Generating Station will have a total capacity of 280 megawatts, enough to power 70,000 homes while avoiding over 400,000 tons of greenhouse gases that would otherwise contribute to global warming and climate change.

The plant will employ a proprietary Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) trough technology developed by Abengoa Solar, and will cover a surface of around 1,900 acres. The construction of the Solana Generating Station will create about 1,500 construction jobs and employ 85 skilled full-time workers once completed. (clip)

Abengoa Solar is currently operating the world’s first commercial CSP solar tower plant in Spain, a demonstration trough plant and the world´s first commercial photovoltaic low concentration plant. It is also building three more CSP plants in Spain with a total capacity of 120-megawatts, two trough plants that will generate 50-megawatts of electricity each, one tower plant with a capacity of 20-megawats and two hybrid gas-solar plants in Algeria and Morocco. " more

Arizona has very good sun and building large scale solar plants there is a no brainer.

Soon, we will see more of these plants in the southwest US and even in the northern parts of Mexico.

From a utility viewpoint, we were talking yesterday about how siting a solar plant 600 to 800 miles to the west of the load makes that power match the actual load quite nicely. This Arizona plant's production would be perfect for El Paso. We also discussed our West Texas wind production and realized that its production curve would fit LA's load profile better than it does ours.

Ideally, the left coast should build solar plants in the Pacific, and solar plants in Texas should provide energy for cities on the right coast. Because the Gulf coast winds come early in the day, their production might be sold to Atlanta.

world class solar, coupled with a massive effort to harvest the energy in the globe's various wind fields and regimes, integrated by a unified energy web with solid state capacitance can bring us to an advanced post promethean age.

We would be able to meet our needs,

without meeting our ends.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

The race is on. How many states, or countries, are committed to become the solar capital of the world?
El Gringo

11:20 AM  

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