BIGGEST SOLAR PLANT IN THE WORLD
Two areas of huge investment in solar energy: Solar power plants and thin film solar materials. What do they have in common? Bringing costs down.
Technologies are still competing for dominance in both areas. Successful thin films are being made from silicon, cadmium telluride and gallium indium complexes.
Concentrating solar power plants are experimenting with both parabolic and flat mirror concepts.
Abengoa Solar will use “trough technology” in its new power plant in Arizona: Trackers with precision parabolic mirrors follow the sun, concentrating its energy to heat a fluid to 700+ degrees Fahrenheit which drives steam turbines. The plant will also have a thermal energy storage system, allowing for electricity production at night and in the absence of sun.
In the Arizona power plant, fluid will pass through parabolic "trough" mirrors to be heated. (click to enlarge)
World’s Largest Solar Power Plant Planned in Arizona; Abengoa Group Purchases 3,000 Acres for $1 Billion Solana Generating Plant
Phillip Maiarucon, February 29, 2008 (CoStar Group)
Abengoa Solar to build the world’s largest solar plant
21 February 2008 (Abengoa Solar press release)
Abengoa Solar (Santiago Seage, CEO); Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano; Arizona Public Service (APS) (Don Brandt, President); Brandon Wolfswinkel
Abengoa Solar will install the Solana Generating Plant, a 280-megawatt concentrating solar power plant on 1900 acres of Arizona desert. It will be the largest solar power plant built to date. “Solana” is Spanish for “a sunny place.”
Schematic of the Abengoa Solar parabolic mirror concept. (click to enlarge)
- The new power plant is scheduled to go on line in 2011.
- Arizona Public Service will purchase the plant’s output for 30 years.
- The new plant will be near Gila Bend, AZ.
- Abengoa Solar has solar plants in Spain and North Africa.
Schematic of the fluid circulation in the Abengoa solar power plant. (click to enlarge)
- Final cost for the solar facility is estimated at $1 billion. It is expected to generate $4+ billion in revenues and $1+ billion in “economic benefits” for the state.
- The 3000-acre on parcel on which the plant will sit was sold to Abengoa Solar for $14,700/acre ($45.12 million) by an investment group headed by Wolfswinkel. Actual solar production will cover 1900 acres.
- Arizona Public Service is the state's largest utility.
Last year the money went toward thin film but there was and is big investment in solar power plants as well. (click to enlarge)
- Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano: "This is a major milestone for Arizona in our efforts to increase the amount of renewable energy available in the United States…Arizona is leading the way in protecting our world for future generations through increasing the amount of renewable energy, combating climate change, fighting for air quality and much more. This plant will offer Arizonans a clean and efficient source of energy."
- Don Brandt, President, APS: "APS has signed this agreement with Abengoa Solar because of its experience developing and building large solar plants in Spain, Morocco and Algeria…”
- Santiago Seage, CEO, Abengoa Solar: "…This project will help usher in a new era of large clean and efficient solar power plants. Our commitment to solar energy is global and we will work with utilities, regulators and companies worldwide to make plants like this happen by leveraging the technologies we have been developing over two decades. We continue to advance these technologies in our research and development centers in Europe and the United States.”