Abengoa and BrightSource Energy Partner to Build the World's Two Largest Solar
- Two of the world's leading concentrating solar power (CSP) companies join to
build the 500 megawatt (MW) Palen solar complex.
SEVILLE, Spain, March 15, 2013
SEVILLE, Spain, March 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Abengoa (MCE: ABG.B), the
international company that applies innovative technology solutions for
sustainable development in the energy and environment sectors, and
BrightSource Energy, a leading concentrating solar thermal technology company,
today signed an agreement to jointly develop, build and operate the world's
two largest solar power towers in California.
As joint partners, the two pioneers in solar power tower technology will work
together to permit and finance the 500 MW Palen Solar Electric Generating
System. Abengoa will build the plants as the Engineering, Procurement and
Construction contractor, and will lead the operation and maintenance (O&M) of
the plants once online. BrightSource will provide the solar field technology
and plant design.
The Palen project consists of two 250 MW units located in a Department of
Interior Solar Energy Zone in Riverside County, California. Together the
plants will produce enough electricity to power 200,000 households and will
prevent the emission of about 17 million tons of CO over its life cycle.
With permitting and development under way, construction is expected to begin
at the end of 2013 and will create more than 2,000 jobs. The solar plants are
expected to come online in 2016.
Solar power towers generate power the same way as traditional power plants –
by creating high temperature steam to turn a turbine. However, instead of
using fossil fuels or nuclear power to create the steam, they use the sun's
energy. At the heart of the system is a state-of-the-art solar field design,
optimization software and a control system that allow for the creation of high
temperature steam. The steam is then integrated with conventional power plant
turbines to produce predictable, reliable and cost-competitive clean energy.
The Palen site has already received authorization from the California Energy
Commission (CEC) for construction and operation of a 500 MW solar thermal
project. In December 2012, BrightSource filed an amendment to the existing
permit seeking authorization to deploy solar power tower technology.
Converting the project to solar power tower technology and low impact design
will result in significantly less impacts than would have occurred under the
original permits. The new design will reduce the project footprint by 13
percent, from 4,366 acres to approximately 3,800 acres, and use 50 percent
less water by deploying a dry-cooling technology.
Each unit at Palen will feature a 750-foot tall tower that allows for a high
concentration of heliostats. This design significantly reduces the amount of
land required to produce energy - up to 33 percent less than a typical
photovoltaic (PV) farm. Additionally, the design places mirrors on individual
poles placed directly into the ground without concrete foundations, allowing
the solar field to be built around the natural contours of the land, to retain
native vegetation under the mirrors, and to avoid areas of sensitive
Abengoa and BrightSource are both leaders in solar tower technologies and are
pooling their collective experience. Abengoa operates four solar towers in
Southern Europe, including the first in commercial operation worldwide since
2007, and is currently building a fifth tower in South Africa. The company
currently has 743 MW of installed solar capacity around the world and 910 MW
under construction. It is one of the few companies in the world that builds
and operates both parabolic trough and tower CSP plants. BrightSource has
solar towers in operation in Coalinga, CA, and in the Negev Desert and its
technology is currently being deployed at the 377 MW Ivanpah Solar Electric
Generating System, the largest solar tower facility under construction in the
Abengoa (MCE: ABG.B) is an international company that applies innovative
technology solutions for sustainable development in the energy and environment
sectors, generating electricity from the sun, producing biofuels, desalinating
sea water and recycling industrial waste. (www.abengoa.com)
Communication Department: Investor relations:
Patricia Malo de Molina Melendez. Barbara Zubiria Furest.
Tel: +34 954 93 71 11 Tel: +34 954 937 111
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Weber Shandwick for Abengoa
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About BrightSource Energy, Inc.
BrightSource Energy, Inc. designs, develops and sells solar thermal power
systems that deliver reliable clean energy to utilities and industrial
companies. For more information on BrightSource Energy please visit
For BrightSource information contact:
Tel: +1 (510) 250-8800
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