ABB Buys into Concentrating Solar Power Industry

Engineering and technology group ABB has agreed to buy a 35% stake in Novatec Solar (formerly Novatec Biosol), a Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) technology company based in Karlsruhe, Germany.

The investment includes an option to acquire 100% of Novatec Solar and an agreement to cooperate on future solar power plant projects. The companies did not to disclose financial details of the transaction.

CSP investment complements ABB’s existing activities in power plant automation, electrification and long-distance electricity transmission.

Novatec Solar is a provider of Linear Fresnel CSP technology using flat mirrors to concentrate the sun’s energy onto a receiver to produce steam. The solar-produced steam reduces the need for fossil fuels to generate electricity in existing or new power stations, and also in process plants and other industrial applications where heat is required.

Compared with other CSP technologies, Novatec Solar says its technology is competitive due to its use of flat glass and common steel in low-lying mirror modules that are easy to assemble and install.

Novatec Solar’s patented technology has been demonstrated with a 1.4 megawatt (MW) plant connected to the Spanish electricity grid since March 2009. The company is currently constructing a 30 MW plant, also in Spain, and recently won an order to retrofit a solar field to a 2,000 MW coal-fired power plant in Australia.

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