U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced the approval of the Record of Decision (ROD) for the Quartzsite Solar Energy Project located in La Paz County, Ariz.
With this authorization, SolarReserve, a U.S. developer of large-scale solar power projects, is proceeding with the development of its 100 megawatt concentrating project, located on Bureau of Land (BLM) managed land.
The Quartzsite Project will be utilizing SolarReserve’s concentrated solar power (CSP) technology with integrated storage which allows the facility to operate like a conventional power plant, but without the environmental damage from emissions and waste.
"These projects reflect the Obama Administration’s commitment to expand responsible domestic energy production on our public lands and diversify our nation’s energy portfolio," Secretary Jewell said. "Today’s approvals will help bolster rural economies by generating good jobs and reliable power and advance our national energy security."
With more than $600 million of direct investment in Arizona, the Quartzsite Solar Energy Plant will generate approximately 440 jobs during peak construction and 50 full-time jobs for operations and maintenance. In addition, the project is expected to create local economic stimulus in the form of $15.7 million in sales tax during the construction period, with construction spending injecting another $46.3 million into the local and regional economy.
"The BLM has done a tremendous job of administering a rigorous and fair permitting process for this project," said Kevin Smith, CEO of SolarReserve. "We appreciate the agency’s support of this and other renewable energy projects that are critical to reducing harmful emissions from conventional power plants while creating real employment opportunities. The
Quartzsite project will be SolarReserve’s second major project successfully permitted on BLM land which demonstrates that industry and government can collaborate effectively."
SolarReserve’s lead CSP project, the Crescent Dunes Project, is currently in construction near Tonopah, Nev., with construction scheduled to be substantially complete by late 2013.
The 110 megawatt project has a 25-year power purchase agreement with NV Energy to sell 100 percent of the electricity output of the facility. Construction has peaked at more than 600 workers and is estimated to create more than 4,300 direct, indirect and induced jobs at companies that provide engineering, equipment supply and manufacturing, transportation and other value-added services
The Quartzite Solar Energy Project has completed all major permitting necessary for advancing the project into construction and is actively engaged in power marketing efforts. The project is slated to begin construction in 2014, once a Power Purchase Agreement has been contracted and financing for the project complete.
The project is ideally situated to deliver power into either California or Arizona according to Tom Georgis, Senior Vice President of Development. "As more and more variable resources such as wind and PV are placed onto the transmission grid; dispatchable generation such as Quartzsite with its integrated energy storage, can support grid reliability and security by firming and shaping these intermittent resources"
SolarReserve, LLC – headquartered in Santa Monica, California – is a developer of large-scale solar energy projects with activities worldwide. SolarReserve has commercialized the world’s leading solar thermal energy storage technology utilizing molten salt in a power tower configuration with the construction of the 110 megawatt Crescent Dunes Project in Nevada. SolarReserve’s team of power project professionals have assembled an extensive 5,000 MW worldwide development portfolio of large-scale solar projects featuring its advanced solar thermal technology (also referred to as concentrated solar power or CSP) as well as projects utilizing photovoltaic technology.
SolarReserve’s U.S. developed technology is the most advanced solar energy storage technology in the industry. SolarReserve’s molten salt power tower design has the capability to deliver clean, reliable electricity at any time, day and night. With designs that can provide from seven hours to 24 hours of full power energy storage, SolarReserve’s power plants capture and store the sun’s thermal energy and can operate ‘on demand’ just like a conventional coal, natural gas or nuclear power plant. However, SolarReserve’s technology does not release the harmful emissions associated with burning fossil fuels or other hazardous wastes associated with conventional power plant technology, nor does it expose utilities and rate payers to volatile fossil fuel prices during its more than 25 year project life. Providing firm and predictable electricity generated from the sun, an unlimited fuel, SolarReserve’s technology also provides grid stability and a solution to intermittent electricity generation, a problem from which most other renewable technologies suffer.
In addition to its market leading solar thermal technology, SolarReserve also designs and develops large-scale photovoltaic power facilities. The company closed financing and started construction on two 75 megawatt photovoltaic projects located in South Africa, with a third 96 megawatt project fully financed and scheduled to begin construction June 2013. The three projects have combined capital costs of more than $800 million, making these some of the largest project finance transactions ever completed in South Africa and among the largest renewable energy projects in Africa.