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Fri12192014

Back You are here: Home Renewables Solar Concentrating Solar Power Abengoa, BrightSource to build 500 MW solar towers in California

Concentrating Solar Power

Abengoa, BrightSource to build 500 MW solar towers in California

Abengoa, BrightSource to build 500 MW solar towers in California
Solar power technology uses an array of heliostats to heat fluid to generate steam

Abengoa and BrightSource Energy have signed an agreement to jointly develop, build and operate the world’s two largest solar power towers in California.

As partners, the two companies will work together to permit and finance the 500-megawatt Palen Electric Generating System, consisting of two 250 MW solar towers located at the Department of Interior Solar Energy Zone in Riverside County.

The project will produce enough electricity to power 200,000 households and prevent the emissions of about 17 million tons of carbon dioxide over its life cycle.

Permitting and development is already underway while construction is expected to begin by the end of 2013 with the plants coming online in 2016.

The project will be using solar power tower technology which is a form of solar thermal energy. Solar power technology generates power much the same as traditional power plants. High temperature steam is created and used to turn a turbine to produce power.

The difference between solar power tower technology and a traditional power plant lies in what fuel they use to create the steam. Instead of fossil fuels or nuclear power, a solar power tower uses the sun’s energy - captured and focused by an array of heliostats - to heat liquid to create steam.

Abengoa and BrightSource are considered leaders in solar thermal technologies. Through its subsidiary Abengoa Solar, Abengoa has worked on the world’s largest solar thermal plant, the Shams 1 (see related story).

When it comes to solar towers, Abengoa currently operates four in Southern Europe and is building its fifth in South Africa. It is one of the few companies in the world that builds and operates both parabolic trough and tower solar thermal generation projects.

BrightSource also has several solar towers in Operation in Coalinga, California and the Negev Desert and its technology is currently being deployed in the world’s largest solar tower facility, the 377 MW Ivanpah project (see related story). – EcoSeed Staff



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