Tessera finds Partner for Arizona Solar Concentrator Project
Maricopa Solar, the name of the joint venture, will be the first commercial-scale solar facility built using the SunCatcher concentrating solar thermal technology, manufactured by Stirling Energy Systems (SES). The project will consist of 60 SunCatcher dishes which use precision mirrors attached to a parabolic dish to concentrate the sun’s energy and convert it into grid quality energy.
Each dish can generate up to 25 kilowatts of power. The SunCatcher requires no water for heating or cooling and a minimal amount of water is required to wash the mirrors. The project will be located next to the Agua Fria generating station, a power plant owned and operated by Salt River Project in Peoria. The solar plant, which is expected to break ground in September, will employ 40 to 50 construction workers.
It is expected to be completed in January 2010 and will be operated by Tessera Solar under a 10-year agreement. Tessera and Stirling are part of the same business group.
“Partnering with Tessera Solar and Stirling Energy Systems on this project will allow SRP to have first hand experience with this low water use solar dish technology,” says Richard Hayslip, associate general manager at the utility.
“It’s our belief that supporting emerging renewable¿energy technologies will help further the advancement of solar energy while creating green jobs, economic development opportunities and clean energy for SRP and our customers,” he says.
Tessera will lease the land from SRP, which will purchase solar energy generated at the site. The plant will help fulfill SRP’s sustainable portfolio goal set by its board of directors, which calls for the utility to meet 15% of its retail energy needs with renewable energy by 2025.
Tessera is based in Houston and SES has its headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona, also in Greater Phoenix.
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