More than 2000 workers are onsite to construct the concentrating solar power plant that will be one of the largest in the world.
Abengoa (MCE: ABG), the international company that applies innovative technology solutions for sustainable development in the energy and environment sectors, announced that the construction of Solana, located about 70 miles southwest of Phoenix, Arizona, is 80 % complete. The project’s construction began in December 2010 and the plant is planned to start operation in the summer of 2013.
Solana, one of the world´s largest plants, once finished, will have the installed capacity of 280 MW (gross) using the parabolic trough technology and six hours of thermal energy storage. This will allow the plant to produce and supply electricity even during cloudy periods or after sunset, meeting the peak demand of this region during the summer months. Its solar field will be composed by 32,000 collectors.
Abengoa has estimated that the development of this project is creating more than 2000 construction jobs, as well as the approximated 85 employees that will be needed to operate the plant. With numerous indirect jobs that have been generated by this project in the area, Abengoa’s initial job creation predictions have been exceeded.
The supply chain for Solana spans 27 states from coast to coast, including Kentucky, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, New York and Oregon with contracts signed with 90 companies. As a result, a new workforce is being trained that will contribute to the needed cost reductions in an industry that contributes to keeping the United States competitive in the twenty-first century.
From the environmental perspective, Solana will produce clean electricity to power the equivalent of 70,000 homes and will reduce CO2 emissions by around 475,000 tons for each year. These reductions will help reach state renewable energy goals, as well as reaching the national goals of United States for climate change mitigation.
Abengoa received a federal loan guarantee, through the Department of Energy (DOE) for $1.45 billion that facilitated the financial close with the Federal Financing Bank (FFB) and to begin the plant’s construction.
Abengoa is constructing three similar projects, one in the United States, specifically the Mojave Desert, and two in the Northern Cape province of South Africa. With a total of 743 MW in operation and 910 MW in construction, it is one of the few companies in the world that builds and operates concentrating solar power plants using both the tower and parabolic trough technologies.