World hotbeds of solar activity II
Spanish companies are in a building spree of solar power generation parks. A lot of this growth is in record-setting concentrating solar power (CSP) plants. They include:
· The largest solar thermal power plant in Europe and second in the world: Built by Solar Millenium and the ACS/Cobra Group and called Andasol 1, it will have a total amount of 1.1 million square meters of collector surface and will be followed shortly by a second one, Andasol 2, with a total output of 50 MW
Spain‘s second biggest utility, Iberdrola, has also announced ten projects totalling 500 MW. The total pipeline in the country now exceeds 1000 MW.
Another country where things are looking up for the CSP industry is the US., which always has been a pioneer in solar technologies and shares with Spain a good rate of sunlight in a large swathe of the country.
The year 2006 was a milestone year: A 1 MW plant built for Arizona Public Service, the first parabolic trough plant constructed in nearly two decades, went online and began delivering power.
Solargenix-Acciona broke ground on a 64 MW parabolic trough plant in Boulder City, Nevada.
Stirling Energy Systems, a Phoenix-based provider of dish-Stirling engine systems, moved forward on development after signing Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) for two large plants in Southern California.The first of these contracts is with Southern California Edison to purchases all the electricity generated from a 500 MW facility, with an option to purchase power from a 350 MW addition. The second is with San Diego Gas & Electric, for the power from a 300 MW plant, with options for up to another 600 MW. And in August, Pacific Gas and Electric signed an MOU to buy at least 500 megawatts of CSP from solar thermal firm Luz II starting in 2010. (Source: Renewable energy stocks)