World’s Biggest Solar Tower Now Complete

The biggest solar tower project in the world is under construction near Tonopah, Nevada. SolarReserve announced the 540-foot solar tower has been finished and the full project will come online in 2013. The Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project is a massive 110 MW concentrating solar tower plant – the first in the US – and […] Read more

The Sunflower: Secret to Solar’s Efficiency Success?

Finding inspiration in the structure of a sunflower, a group of scientists has designed a concentrated solar power plant (CSP) that will require 20 percent less land than existing plants while increasing theamount of sunlight its solar mirrors are able to collect. At the sprawling CSP plants already in use worldwide, hundreds of mirrors are […] Read more

New York Dishes Out $30M for Solar Development

In an effort to increase solar generating capacity in downstate New York, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the state Public Service Commission (PSC) are offering a total of $30 million to support PV installers and developers. It’s the first year of funding under a $150-million, five-year program intended to […] Read more

Dubai Launches 1GW Solar Power Project

It is natural that the oil-rich regions of the United Arab Emirates depend heavily on this natural resource to meet their energy demands. Using oil and natural gas, the DEWA (Dubai Electricity and Water Authority) produces 7,361 MW (or 7.361GW) of power. In reality, this is sufficient as the peak demand has never crossed 6000MW […] Read more

Andasol CSP Plant Commissions Third Unit

The world’s largest commercial solar power plant at Andasol in Spain has commissioned its third 50 MW unit taking the total installed capacity to 150 MW. The Andasol 3 unit was commissioned on 30 September this year. The first two units have been operating from 2008 and 2009. The unit 3 is identical in design […] Read more

Report Looks Into The Effect of Large Scale Solar Projects on Wildlife

Not many can agree about how utility-scale solar projects, like those in the U.S. desert Southwest, will impact wildlife, but it could be harmful despite efforts to mitigate those impacts. That’s according a new report in the December issue of BioScience. The potential effects of the construction and decommissioning of solar projects include killing wildlife. […] Read more

Another One Bites The Dust: Solar Millennium Insolvency

2011 takes with it another casualty of the solar shakeout. Last week it was Germany’s Solon, which makes solar modules and solar power plants, that was looking to “attempt restructuring via the insolvency court,” in roughly the German equivalent of bankruptcy. Today saw Germany’s Solar Millennium file for the opening of insolvency proceedings, according to […] Read more

The Value of CSP at High Solar Penetration

With the cost of solar photovoltaic projects declining steadily and cost reductions in concentrating solar power projects falling at a slower pace, some are calling 2011 the year that PV killed CSP. In the last year and a half, roughly 3,000 MW of CSP projects in the U.S. have been converted to PV. In the […] Read more

SolarReserve Enters PV Market

California-based solar developer SolarReserve announced it has been awarded preferred bidder status by the South Africa Department of Energy for two solar farms.  The projects will developed in collaboration with Solar Reserve’s South African partners the Kensani Group and Intikon Energy. The award was part of the first round of renewable energy awards granted by South Africa Energy […] Read more

DOE Throws $60M at CSP Technology

Concentrating Solar Power — large power plants that convert thermal energy into electricity — offer firm, centralized power that better match a utility’s needs.  See “Solar Can Be Baseload: Spanish CSP Plant with Storage Produces Electricity for 24 Hours Straight.” But CSP plants, which require far more material and man-power to develop than equivalent PV […] Read more

Solar Thermal: No Respect

In most countries solar power is often perceived as synonymous with solar photovoltaic (PV), the classic rooftop panels that convert sunlight to electricity through solar cells. But that could be a misconception, says Environmental Protection, since solar thermal, which gets less attention than PV, actually is more efficient. Solar thermal is cheaper and more efficient, […] Read more

SolarReserve Lands $15M for CSP

SolarReserve, a utility-scale solar thermal developer, just closed on $15 million of a $30 million round according to an SEC form D filing spotted by Green Energy Reporter. It would have been entertaining to have been a fly on the wall in that terms negotiation meeting for this Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) developer, given the […] Read more

Why is CSP Falling Out of Favor?

When Solar Millennium announced last week that it would switch from solar thermal to photovoltaic technology for the first 500-megawatt phase of its 1,000-megawatt solar project outside of Blythe, Calif., It drew attention to a growing trend away from CSP. Solar Millennium issued a statement last week saying that the company felt solar photovoltaic technology […] Read more

BrightSource Goes Big With CSP

We spoke with BrightSource CEO John Woolard earlier this week about CSP economics and the newly announced molten-salt storage technology that BrightSource will incorporate into its concentrated solar power systems. Woolard hinted that there were more and bigger announcements to come. We didn’t expect them to come so soon. The soon-to-IPO mega-startup just filed a […] Read more