Tuesday, September 8, 2009

South africa: Fluor Wins Contract for 46-MW eSolar CSP Plant

Texas, United States [RenewableEnergyWorld.com]

Fluor Corporation has been awarded an engineering services contract by eSolar for the design of a 46-megawatt (MW) concentrating solar power (CSP) plant. Fluor will provide design optimization to rapidly scale eSolar's 46 megawatt power plants. The undisclosed contract value was booked in the company's third quarter of 2009.

This news follows closely on the heels of eSolar's unveiling its 5-megawatt Sierra SunTower solar power plant.

Fluor’s southern California operations center is leading the effort on this project with an immediate start date. Fluor will perform detailed studies focused on optimizing performance, constructability and cost. This will include basic engineering for a reference plant design that will be used to provide a scalable design package to potential developers worldwide.

“We believe that Fluor’s superior engineering strength will lead to faster and broader deployment to meet the rising global demand for renewable energy. With our first 5 MW power plant in the ground and delivering electricity to the grid, we are thrilled to have Fluor onboard to help scale this new breakthrough in solar technology to meet customer demand,” said Bill Gross, chief executive officer of eSolar.

This news follows closely on the heels of eSolar unveiling its 5-MW Sierra SunTower solar power plant earlier this month. The plant produces electricity for Southern California Edison (SCE). eSolar says the technology at this and all of its new plants resolves many of the problems that have held back large scale solar projects in the past including cost, speed of deployment and proximity to existing transmission lines.

eSolar uses software algorithms to precisely focus thousands of mirrors on a single point to harvest the sun's energy and achieve economies of scale with a smaller footprint than anyone else in the business.

Constructed in less than one year, eSolar's Sierra SunTower power plant marks the first of several developments in the Antelope Valley region using eSolar technology. Over the course of construction, this project created 300 jobs.

eSolar has aggressive plans to develop hundreds of MWs of projects across the Southwest U.S. These include a 92-MW plant to be developed in southern New Mexico by NRG Energy and eSolar for El Paso Electric, as well as the 92-MW Alpine SunTower project for PG&E that is scheduled for completion in 2012.

The majority of eSolar's portfolio is being developed with NRG, which plans to invest approximately US $10 million for equity and associated development rights for three projects on sites in south central California and the Southwest U.S.