Oct 9, 2013 - Spanish firm Abengoa (MCE:ABG) said today it had kicked off commercial operations at its 280-MW Solana concentrated solar power (CSP) park in Arizona.
The CSP plant, situated near Gila Bend, is the first in the US to be equipped with a thermal energy storage system to produce power for six hours at dark without interruption. Abengoa started building the facility in 2010 and on October 7 successfully passed production tests for commercial operations of the system.
The USD-2-billion (EUR 1.5bn) parabolic trough plant is capable of generating enough power to supply 70,000 homes, saving 500,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year, Abengoa calculates. Its output will be sold to local utility Arizona Public Service (APS) under a 30-year power purchase agreement (PPA).
Abengoa supported the construction of the CSP park with a federal loan guarantee for USD 1.45 billion from the US Department of Energy (DOE). Last week, US e-commerce specialist Liberty Interactive Corp (NASDAQ:LINTA) invested USD 300 million in the Solana scheme. Abengoa remains managing partner for the project.
At present, the Spanish firm operates 1,223 MW of CSP capacity and is building 430 MW more, it noted.
Veselina Petrova is one of Renewables Now's most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.