The concentrated solar energy project will utilize an advanced molten salt, power tower technology developed by Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, a division of United Technologies Corporation.
SolarReserve, a U.S. developer of utility-scale solar power projects, announced that it has received its final Certificates of Environmental Compatibility (CEC) by unanimous decision (5-0) from the Arizona Corporation Commission for its 150 megawatt (MW) Crossroads Solar Energy Project.
The approval includes the associated transmission line connecting the project to Arizona Public Service’s transmission grid. This final approval follows this past December’s unanimous decision (11-0) from the Arizona Power Plant and Transmission Line Siting Committee to grant the certificates.
“I am excited about this project. I believe this new technology will be very beneficial as we continue to make Arizona the solar capital,” stated Arizona Commissioner Sandra Kennedy in her vote to support the project. “I like the fact that the developers of this project will seek to sell their solar power within Arizona, which I believe is a testament to our Renewable Energy Standard.”
The concentrated solar energy project will create over 450 construction jobs during the two-year construction period and up to 5,000 direct and induced jobs, including offsite supplier and supporting activities. The project has a capital cost in excess of $500 million and is expected to generate economic development in Gila Bend and throughout the region.
It will employ at least 45 full-time, permanent operations staff throughout the 30-year project operating life and has an annual operating budget of up to $10 million per year, largely spend locally.
Located on privately owned and actively cultivated land west of the Town of Gila Bend in Maricopa County, Arizona, the 150 megawatt Crossroads concentrated solar energy project will supply approximately 450,000 megawatt hours annually of reliable, green, zero-emission electricity to Arizona – enough to power up to 100,000 homes during peak electricity periods.
The concentrated solar energy project will utilize an advanced molten salt, power tower technology developed by Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, a division of United Technologies Corporation, providing the ability to store 10 hours of solar energy and generate electricity on demand, even after the sun goes down. This energy storage capability provides a stable, predictable electricity product and can replace conventional power generation that produces harmful emissions from burning coal, natural gas and oil.
“The unanimous approval by the Commission illustrates a commitment to bringing viable, utility scale solar thermal projects to Arizona which will contribute to the state meeting its renewable energy goals and peak energy demand with non intermittent, fully dispatchable power,” said Tom Georgis, Vice President of Development for SolarReserve.
“The concentrating solar thermal power project also represents hundreds of millions of dollars of investment into Arizona and significant, diverse job creation in the construction, operations, manufacturing and supply sectors.”
The final cases are listed separately under Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) docket numbers 155 and 156 for the generator tie line and the power plant, respectively.
SolarReserve, LLC – headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif. – is a solar energy project development company developing large-scale solar energy projects worldwide. It holds the exclusive worldwide license to the molten salt, solar power tower technology developed by United Technologies Corporation.
Since its formation in late 2007, SolarReserve’s team of power project professionals have assembled a concentrated solar power development portfolio of more than 25 projects featuring its licensed solar power technology with potential output of more than 3,000 megawatts in the United States and Europe; with early stage activities in other international markets.
SolarReserve is also developing 1,100 MW of photovoltaic projects across the United States, and is actively acquiring new sites in the US and internationally to add to the pipeline. SolarReserve’s experienced management team has previously developed and financed more than $15 billion in renewable and conventional energy projects in more than a dozen countries around the world.
SolarReserve’s molten salt, concentrating solar power tower technology was successfully demonstrated in California under a U.S. Department of Energy-sponsored pilot project in the late 1990s. The 10-megawatt pilot facility utilized a molten salt receiver designed, engineered and assembled by Rocketdyne, now a part of United Technologies Corporation.