eSolar partners with Penglai on landmark solar thermal agreement for China

eSolar, a global provider of reliable and cost-effective concentratingsolar power (CSP) plants, and Penglai Electric, a privately-ownedChinese electrical power equipment manufacturer, announced a masterlicensing agreement to build at least 2 gigawatts (GW) of solar thermalpower plants in China over the next 10 years.

The deal wassigned in the Chinese State Council building with government officialsin attendance and represents the country’s largest CSP project.Groundbreaking of the first 92 megawatts (MW) will take place in 2010.

PenglaiElectric plans to develop 2 GW of power plants by 2021 using eSolar’sproven solar thermal technology. The solar thermal power plants will beco-located with biomass electricity generation facilities. PenglaiElectric will leverage local manufacturing to source some of theequipment. In total, the plants will eliminate 15 million tons ofcarbon dioxide emissions annually.

“Using the power of the sun,eSolar’s technology minimizes the environmental impact on manufacturingand deployment while maximizing land and cost efficiency,” said LiuGuangyu, chairman and CEO of Penglai Electric. “We are extremelygrateful to the Chinese government for playing a major role inpromoting zero-carbon renewable energy.”

“With Penglai as ourpartner and with the strong support of the Chinese government, eSolaris proud to be the first company to deliver the benefits ofcost-effective solar thermal power to China,” said Bill Gross, founderand chairman of eSolar.

China Huadian Engineering Co. will leadthe construction process. At completion, China Shaanxi Yulin HuayangNew Energy Co. will own and operate the first 92 MW plant. “To date,eSolar offers the only CSP tower technology that has demonstratedcommercial maturity and economic feasibility,” added Zhao Weikang,chairman and president of Shaanxi Yulin Huayang New Energy Co.

“We’reexcited to build our initial hybrid plant as part of the 170-squarekilometer Yulin Alternative Energy Park, the first large scalealternative energy park in China. Our work is aligned with thegovernment’s continuing policy to curb carbon emissions and combatclimate change.”

China is currently the market leader in the PVmanufacturing industry. The deal represents the country’s first majormove into concentrating solar thermal power. The Chinese governmentrecently announced its aggressive plans to increase the country’srenewable power generation capacity to 15 percent by 2020.