Arizona Deserts Key to Solar Power

22 December of 2010 by

Abengoa Solar announced today that it has finalized $1.45 billion financing to build Solana,the world’s largest parabolic trough concentrating solar plant whichwill generate 250 net megawatts (MW). A parabolic trough is a type ofsolar thermal energy collector. Santiago Seage, CEO ofAbengoa Solar, stated, “Solana is the first large scale CSP plant forAbengoa Solar in the U.S. and will be a key milestone for ourdevelopment in this country as it allows us to strengthen ourrelationships with the local community as well as with the state andfederal public authorities that have contributed notably to thisproject.” Abengoa Solar signed a power purchase agreement with ArizonaPublic Service Co, Arizona’s largest electric utility, to buy the energy produced by Solana for a period of 30 years.

The plant will be located 70 miles southwest of Phoenix, near Gila Bend, Arizona. Solana will produce enough energy to serve 70,000 households and willprevent the emission of 475,000 tons of CO2 per year compared to anatural gas burning power plant. The construction and operation ofSolana will bring many economic and environmental benefits to Arizonaand will support the nation’s goals for energy independence through a“green” economy. Abengoa Solar estimates that the Solana project willcreate between 1,600 to 1,700 new construction jobs and over 85 permanent jobs. Approximately 98 percent of the jobs created by the project will beAmerican jobs, primarily in Arizona, in addition to neighboring states.Furthermore, around 75% of the equipment and supplies required to buildSolana will be manufactured in the U.S.

In late 2009 Abengoa Solar signed a power purchaseagreement in California to supply electricity generated by a 250 MW netCSP trough plant located in the Mojave Desert, 100 miles northeast ofLos Angeles. The company also has several projects under development inthe Southwest.

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