Abengoa Solar to build a 280 MW CSP plant in Arizona
Abengoa Solar, a subsidiary of Spain’s Abengoa technology company, has signed a contract with Arizona Public Service Co. (APS) to build, own and operate what would be the largest solar power plant in the world if it were operating today.
It is scheduled to go into operation by 2011 and will have a total capacity of 280 megawatts.
The plant will sell the electricity produced to APS over the next 30 years, generating total revenue of around four billion dollars, and “bringing over one billion dollars in economic benefits to the state of Arizona.”
The plant will be located 70 miles southwest of Phoenix, near Gila Bend, and will cover a surface of around 1,900 acres.
It will employ a proprietary Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) trough technology. The site will be filled with 2,700 high precision parabolic mirrors that track sunlight. Concentrating its energy, they heat a fluid to over 735 degrees Fahrenheit and use that heat to turn steam turbines. The solar plant will also include a thermal energy storage system that allows for electricity to be produced as required, even after the sun has set.
“This is a major milestone for Arizona in our efforts to increase the amount of renewable energy available in the United States” Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano said in a news release.
Construction of the Solana Generating Station, as it has been named, will create about 1,500 construction jobs, and will employ 85 full-time workers once it’s operational, Abengoa Solar said.
APS will pay for the entire project, which will only serve APS customers. The project is more than two-years in the making and will be the first of many in the state, said Don Brandt, APS president.
For diagrams about the overall aspect and sections of the plant, you may watch this video: