Abengoa will have the Support of Banco Santander in Developing the World’s Largest Concentrating Solar Thermal Power Plant.
Abengoa (MCE: ABG), the international company that applies innovative technology solutions for sustainable development in the energy and environment sectors, has announced that it will collaborate with Capital Riesgo Global, a subsidiary of Banco Santander, which will become a financial partner in the development of Solana, the largest concentrating solar power plant in the world. The plant, which is currently being built by Abengoa in Arizona, will have a production capacity of 280 MW gross and will be the first solar plant in the United States with the ability to store energy.
Capital Riesgo Global will invest $125 million in exchange for an equity stake in the project. The total investment for Solana is around $2,000 million. Abengoa obtained a federal loan guarantee for approximately $1.45 billion in December 2010 from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Loan Programs Office to finance this project. This investment, which has been approved by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), will reduce Abengoa’s own capital requirement contribution and is fully compatible with the potential entry of a tax equity investor in the project.
Solana is the first large-scale plant to be developed by Abengoa in Arizona. With a capacity of 280 MW gross, it will be the largest concentrating solar power plant in the world. Concentrating solar power is a mature technology that, due to thermal inertia and storage, allows the plant to produce dispatchable electricity throughout the day, averting intermittency that other renewables experience, such as wind and photovoltaics. The plant was recently visited by the United States Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar.
Construction work is on track to begin producing energy by summer 2013, having achieved almost 50 percent of progress in construction so far. The project has already created more than 1,300 direct jobs and will soon reach 1,600. Solana will generate enough energy to supply 70,000 households and will prevent the emission of 475,000 tons of CO2 per annum.
Abengoa currently has more than 1 GW of solar energy capacity under construction around the world. It also has a total of 543 MW in operation and is the only company in the world to construct and operate concentrating solar power plants using both tower and parabolic trough technologies.