SolarReserve, a California-based developer of utility-scale solar thermal plants, has signed two separate power purchase agreements for projects in California and Nevada.
The California agreement is with Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) (NYSE: PCG) for the sale of electricity from SolarReserve’s Rice Solar Energy Project. The 150-megawatt (MW) solar thermal project will be located 30 miles northwest of the city of Blythe in eastern Riverside County, California.
The project will utilize a molten salt system from United Technologies Corp. (UTC)(NYSE: UTX). SolarReserve holds the exclusive worldwide license for this technology, which stores excess heat energy for use during periods when the sun is not shining.
“We are extremely pleased to contract with PG&E for the power generated from this important project,” said Kevin Smith, SolarReserve’s CEO. “Throughout the process, we have worked hard to minimize the project’s impact on local resources, which is why the project is being developed on privately-owned land that had been previously used as an air field. Further, the project will use a dry cooling system that minimizes water usage without significantly impacting the plant’s operational performance.”
Subject to comprehensive environmental review by cooperating state and federal agencies, the Rice project could break ground as early as spring of 2011 creating 450 construction jobs during the two-year construction period. The project will employ 45 permanent operations staff and will have an annual operating budget of more than $5.0 million, with the majority of that budget spent in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. In addition to direct employment, several thousand indirect jobs are expected to be created through various suppliers and service providers throughout the region.
The project also supports SolarReserve and its suppliers’ design, development, and engineering staffs with more than 150 scientists, engineers and green technical specialists working to further U.S. developed solar energy technology for potential export around the world.
SolarReserve has signed a 25-year power purchase agreement with NV Energy (NYSE: NVE) for the sale of electricity from SolarReserve’s Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project. Developed and owned by SolarReserve’s subsidiary, Tonopah Solar Energy, LLC, the 100-MW solar energy project will be located near the town of Tonopah in Nye County, Nevada.
Expected to break ground by the end of 2010, the project will create as many as 450 construction jobs for Nevada during the two-year construction period.