Posted tagged ‘abengoa solar’

Abengoa Solar signs contract with PG&E to supply 250 MW of solar power in California

October 31, 2009

Abengoa Solar signs Power Purchase Agreement with PG&E for a 250-megawatt concentrating solar power (CSP) project to be built in California, 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles, near Harper Dry Lake. The California Energy Commission is reviewing the Application for Certification to license the 1,765-acre CSP project.

Abengoa Solar announces the signing of a power purchase agreement with Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) to supply the electricity generated by the new solar plant “Mojave Solar.” The project will generate 250 megawatts (MW) of Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) and is to be located in an unincorporated area of San Bernardino County, between Barstow and Kramer Junction, approximately nine miles northwest of Hinkley, and 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles. The project is expected to bring 1,200 green construction jobs and, when completed, approximately 80 permanent jobs to this desert area.

Once it starts operating in 2013, it will generate nearly as much electricity as all of California’s present-day commercial CSP installations combined, enough to power about 90,000 average homes, and avoid over 431 kilotons per year of greenhouse gas emissions.

On August 10, 2009, Abengoa Solar filed an Application for Certification with the California Energy Commission for its Mojave Solar Project. The project has been deemed data adequate by the CEC and public meetings are anticipated to begin in December.

Santiago Seage, CEO of Abengoa Solar explained that “Mojave Solar is a project we have been working on for several years. The permitting and engineering effort is very advanced and we are very proud to partner with PG&E to make this project a reality.”

The project will be sited on 1,765 acres of private, previously disturbed land that had been farmed since the 1920s but is now largely fallow.

The solar plant will use significantly less water per acre than was used for agricultural purposes.

“The location has been carefully chosen and the plant has been specifically configured to minimize environmental impacts on the desert,” said Scott Frier, COO of Abengoa Solar, Inc.

The spinoff economic benefits, including jobs created, are expected to be significant near an area that was farmed for alfalfa from the 1920s but was later largely abandoned.

Mojave Solar Project will contribute to meeting California’s aggressive Renewable Portfolio Standard, which calls for moving away from fossil fuels to solar energy and other renewable energy sources that avoid pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

We expect to start construction by the end of 2010, subject to financing under the U.S. economic stimulus legislation.

The Mojave Solar Project will use a similar size and type of Abengoa Solar parabolic trough technology as the system that will be installed at the Solana Electrical Generating Station announced in 2008 near Phoenix, Arizona. This is a highly innovative system that maximizes power production in trough plants.

The plant uses parabolic mirrors that are arranged in long troughs and track the sun’s movement continually during the day, concentrating the solar radiation onto a heat-absorbing pipe at the focal point of the mirrors. A heat transfer fluid circulating inside the pipe reaches temperatures of more than 700 degrees Fahrenheit. This heat is then used to generate steam that drives a conventional steam turbine.

In addition to the Mojave Solar Project in California and the Solana Project in Arizona, Abengoa Solar has seven CSP plants under construction or operation and others under development.

In August 2009, Abengoa Solar announced that it was selected by Xcel Energy, Colorado’s largest electric utility company, to build a demonstration parabolic trough concentrating solar power plant at Xcel Energy’s Cameo coal plant near Grand Junction, Colorado. Abengoa Solar has also used recently parabolic trough technology to make industrial process heat for a major food processor to cook snacks in Modesto, CA and for the U.S. Department of Energy to treat contaminated groundwater in Tuba City, AZ.

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Ten High Ranking Officials from California Visit Spain’s Renewable Energy Sites

June 30, 2009

The Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade, ICEX, has organized a fact-finding visit from June 28 to July 3 for 10 high ranking officials from California, as the leading US state in the development of renewable energy, to reinforce the relations between Spain and the Golden State. It will also serve the purpose of allowing the participants to share best practices and know more about their respective regulatory systems to promote renewable energy.

The visit is part of ICEX´s commitment to showcase Spanish capabilities in technology products and services in the American market.  Among the activities scheduled are meetings with the Spanish Secretary of the State of Commerce, Silvia Iranzo, bilateral discussions with leading Spanish companies in the industry and guided tours of some landmark projects developed and managed by Spanish firms.

The group includes representatives from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), Energy Commission, Environmental Protection Agency and L.A. City Hall and Water and Power Dpt.

Some of the highlights include visits to Acciona HQ in Madrid and the Iberdrola‘s Control Center for Renewable Energy (CORE)  in Toledo. The CORE facility serves a key role in helping to integrate and manage intermittent renewables on the national grid.

CORE center in Toledo, courtesy of Iberdrola

This visit complements a previous one to the Control Center of Renewable Energies (CECRE) from the Spanish Grid operator, Red Electrica. CECRE is  a worldwide pioneering initiative to monitor and control these energy resources. It allows the maximum amount of production from renewable energy sources, especially wind energy, to be integrated into the power system under secure conditions with constant updates of available renewable energy. You may learn more about the CECRE through a video here.

Panoramic view of the PS10 solar power plant

Panoramic view of the PS10 solar power plant

The third part of the visit includes guided tours to the Solucar Solar Platform in Seville (Abengoa Solar) and the largest thermosolar power plant in Europe, Andasol, in the province of Granada, built by ACS Cobra and SENER.

Top Spanish Renewable Energy Firms bolster ties with California During Visit Last Week

October 10, 2008

To help California meet surging demand for renewable energy, Spains leading firms visited California this last week, meeting with major utilities, economic development officials, legislators, regulators, private firms, the Lt. Governor, and members of the Governors staff regarding investment in renewable energy growth. Due to sophisticated advances in energy regulation and technologies in Spain, these firms offer vast experience, state-of-the art technology, and financial resources to help California meet its Renewable Portfolio Standard and AB 32 goals.

Spanish firms have developed and constructed some of the largest solar plants in the world over the last 20 years,” commented Pedro Bugallal, deputy director of international trade for CEOE (Spanish Confederation of Employers and Industry), the largest trade association in Spain. “California shows the greatest potential for growth in renewable energy, and our firms have invested billions in other US states this year. This mission will show how California can benefit from the significant investments and expertise our firms can bring to renewable energy production.

Spanish companies have committed more than $5 billion in the US market this year alone. The delegation identified new investments, joint ventures and technology transfer opportunities in solar, desalination, water, wind and related renewable energy sectors.

With California squeezed between energy demand, environmental mandates, and fallout from the financial crisis, there couldnt be a better time for these firms to visit. California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard and AB 32 Global Warming Solutions Act  create specific mandates for renewable energy supply and greenhouse gas reductions at a time when funding is challenging. The fact that these firms have the expertise and financing to develop large renewable energy projects is good news for the state and for the economy, said Michael Liikala, president of Solutions International, the consulting firm which helped organize the mission.

Spanish firms in the delegation, led by Solutions International and CEOE from October 6-10, included the world’s largest developer of wind farms and operator of one of the largest active US solar projects, Acciona Energia. Abengoa Solar, planning to build a $1 billion solar plant in Arizona called Solana, also participated. Other firms in the mission were Siliken–which recently opened a photovoltaic panel production plant in San Diego–as well as Dragados/Cobra (ACS Group), TSK, Elecnor, Prointec, and Union Fenosa.

Gov. Bill Ritter travels to Spain to meet with renewable energy companies

July 7, 2008

As a follow-up to the Spanish trade mission that visited the state last February, Gov. Bill Ritter is in Spain this week to meet with renewable energy companies and encourage investment in Colorado.

Ritter says the trip will be a way to raise the state’s profile in Europe and “let them know Colorado is the best state in America to do business.” Ritter, Energy Office Director Tom Plant and Economic Development Director Don Elliman will be in Madrid from today to July 9.

Gov. Ritter follows what seems to become an established pattern, as Gov. Ed Rendell (Pennsylvania) and Chet Culver (Iowa) have done in the past with their visits. Each of those states has a manufacturing plant from a Spanish company, Gamesa in the case of Pennsylvania, and Acciona in the case of Iowa. As for Colorado, it has its own Spanish company headquartered in the state, Abengoa Solar, that the Gov. hopes might be a beacon for more investment to come. Other foreign renewable companies in Colorado include Denmark-based Vestas Blades and Iberdrola Renewables, also from Spain.

“Iberdrola Renewables has two large wind farms in Colorado, and we would like to invest more in the state,” said Martin Mugica, senior vice president of Iberdrola’s USA renewables division. “The New Energy Economy strategy adds to an already-favorable investment climate. The wind blows in many places around the world, but Coloradans make their state a great place to make electricity from the wind.”

Gov. Ritter will meet with executives from eight to 10 key Spanish companies. He also will appear at four larger events sponsored or hosted by local organizations such as the American Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Embassy.

Another point of attraction for companies in this field is the fact that Colorado is home to acclaimed research institutions like the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and programs such as the Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory.

Abengoa Solar to build a 280 MW CSP plant in Arizona

February 21, 2008

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:

Spanish Renewable Energy trade mission to the USA

January 26, 2008

During a business breakfast organized by the American Chamber of Commerce in Spain last week, the US Ambassador, Eduardo Aguirre, announced a trade mission of Spanish companies in the field of renewable energies, with the objective of attracting investments to the USA.

The Spanish delegation, comprising about a dozen wind and solar companies and top Spanish Government officials is visiting Feb. 12 through 14. They will fly to Washington to meet their American counterparts. Then, they will go on to Colorado, where executives from Iberdola and Abengoa Solar (among others) will visit the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden and meet American companies and State officials in Denver.

Mr. Aguirre, who mentioned companies such as Iberdrola, Acciona o Gamesa as leaders at the forefront of the clean energy revolution that is sweeping the planet, said that the support of renewable energies will be a ¨strategic priority¨ for the U.S. Mission in Spain.

He brought up the International Conference on Renewable Energy (WIREC 2008) that the American Government is sponsoring next March in Washington as a good opportunity to share ideas for the development of this industry.

He added that the United States attracted last year $10,000 million dollars in investment projects in the field of renewable energy, as a sign of the vitality of this market.

Spanish companies plan to spend $7 billion to $10 billion in the United States on renewable-energy projects over the next few years, has said Paul Bergman, of the U.S. Department of Commerce in Denver.

Abengoa Solar, one of the members of the delegation, already has offices in Lakewood, Colorado (and San Francisco). The company plans to triple its size in the state by hiring more employees next year as it begins to work on utility-scale solar projects in Colorado and nationwide.

Incidentally, the U.S. Department of Energy recently selected three projects proposed by Abengoa Solar (formerly known as Solucar) to increase the efficiency of CSP technologies.

This website from the U.S. Commercial Service includes a fully detailed description of the mission participants.