Solutia Inc. has been awarded a contract to supply its Therminol® VP-1 synthetic heat transfer fluid for the Solana solar power plant project, which is slated to be the world’s largest solar power plant.

The $2 billion plant, which is under construction in Gila Bend, Arizona, will be the largest parabolic trough concentrating solar plant in the world and the first large-scale solar plant in the United States capable of storing energy for continued power generation during periods of low sunlight.

Solutia’s Therminol heat transfer fluid is a key part of the concentrating solar power (CSP) capabilities at Solana, which is expected to generate 250 net megawatts, enough to power more than 70,000 homes.  Full production at the solar power plant is scheduled for 2013.

"Solutia is proud to be a part of this groundbreaking renewable energy project," said Greta Senn, president and general manager of the Technical Specialties division of St. Louis-based Solutia.  "Our Therminol heat transfer fluid has been consistently selected for such projects, reinforcing our capability as a global supplier and demonstrating our commitment to the rapidly growing energy solutions industry."

In December 2010, the White House announced that the U.S. Department of Energy had offered a commitment for a $1.4 billion loan guarantee to Abengoa Solar Inc. to support the construction and start-up of Solana and to further the nation’s energy independence goals.  The Solana project is slated to generate 1,700 construction and operation jobs and is expected to support numerous other jobs around the country.

"Energy independence is one of the most important issues facing our nation today," said U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri.  "These important investments in renewable energy projects will put us on the path to energy independence while protecting or creating jobs here in Missouri and around the country."

Therminol heat transfer fluid absorbs concentrated sunlight, generating heat and steam that drive power-generating turbines.  This stored heat can be used to produce energy during periods of little to no sunlight, including the evening hours.  The Solana solar plant will generate electricity to help meet the summer peak demand for air conditioning.  Abengoa expects the project to result in the avoidance of 475,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year compared to a natural gas-burning power plant.

Solutia was awarded the contract by Abengoa for the supply of these fluids.  Abengoa is an international company that applies innovative technology solutions for sustainability in the energy and environment sectors, generating energy from the sun, producing biofuels, desalinating sea water and recycling industrial waste.

Solutia is the world leader in synthetic heat transfer fluids, providing more than 45 years of excellence in technical support, customer service, performance and innovation.