With the hottest weather and highest power demand on record in Shanghai, BrightSource Energy, Inc., a leading concentrating solar thermal power technology (CSP) company, announced that it has signed Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with the China Power Investment Corporation (CPI) and the China Renewable Energy Engineering Institute (CREEI). Additionally, BrightSource will amend an existing MOU with CPI’s subsidiary, Huanghe Hydropower Development Co, to guide its cooperation with CPI and Huanghe. The MOUs were signed at the U.S.-China Renewable Energy Industry Forum in Shanghai, which is hosted by the US Department of Energy (DOE) and the Chinese National Energy Administration (NEA).
“The global market for CSP is expanding at a rapid pace and that is especially true in China,” said David Ramm, BrightSource Executive Chairman. “BrightSource looks forward to working with our partners in China to execute these MOU’s. In doing so, we will work to help establish industry best practices and grow a vibrant market for CSP.”
Under the MOU with CPI, BrightSource will be the technology supplier for the first commercial scale CSP project as part of the U.S.-China Framework. The company was selected based on its experience with the development of the Ivanpah Solar Energy Generating System in California. The project with CPI will be configured to meet local conditions and requirements of China’s grid for stable and dispatchable output. Huanghe will be the leader for development, construction and operation of the project. BrightSource and Huanghe will collaborate to complete the project in accordance with their amended MOU.
BrightSource and CPI will also track CSP technology developments for future cost reductions, work together to pursue relevant policy developments in China, and explore collaboration in international markets.
CREEI was selected by China’s National Energy Administration to organize related parties to compile a national CSP handbook to help guide the development of future CSP projects. Under the CREEI MOU, BrightSource will cooperate on issues regarding efficient utilization of solar power. BrightSource will leverage its experience with Ivanpah to jointly promote technology advancement and project development for China’s CSP industry. Contributions will include guidance on site selection criteria, lessons learned, applications for future projects, strategies for CSP cost reduction, personnel training and best practices.
BrightSource’s Beijing office is led by the company’s China General Manager, Yvonne Huang, whose team will lead efforts under these agreements and drive China business development.
“These agreements are validation of BrightSource’s power tower technology solution, which is embodied by the development of Ivanpah,” Ramm added. “Ivanpah is now the highest profile example of CSP deployment in the world. Policymakers and potential customers in key markets value CSP as an important component of their energy infrastructure, providing firm, flexible power and they see BrightSource as the leading provider of this technology. We look forward to sharing our experience and expertise with our partners to help drive forward a successful CSP industry in China.”
BrightSource estimates the global CSP market will reach 30 gigawatts by 2020, up from just over 2 gigwatts in 2012. According to the International Energy Agency, solar energy, including both CSP and photovoltaics, could account for 25 percent of global electricity by 2050 and cover a third of global energy demand after 2060. CSP alone could supply 11.3 percent of the world’s electricity by 2050.
BrightSource is the world’s premiere solar thermal field technology provider. A 29 MW thermal facility using BrightSource technology is in operation for Chevron Corp.’s enhanced oil recovery efforts in Coalinga, California. BrightSource is currently constructing the 377 MW (net) Ivanpah solar project in partnership with NRG Energy and Google. Ivanpah is more than 94 percent complete and due to provide clean, reliable energy to over 140,000 California homes by the end of 2013.
Tracey is an accountant and entrepreneur with a passion for nature. This passion is what spurred her interest in renewable energy, and the rest is history as they say. Tracey is a principal in Energy Think Group, the publisher of Solar Thermal Magazine and Tek-Think. She is also the principal at Women's Financial Help Desk. She spends her free time in the outdoors with her horses and dogs. She loves to travel.