Abengoa, an international company that applies innovative technology solutions for sustainable development in the energy and environment sectors, announced that construction is now ramping up on its 280 megawatt (gross) CSP Mojave Solar Project, located in San Bernardino County, California.
The Mojave Solar Project brings economic stimulus to California and specifically the High Desert region, creating more than 900 construction and permanent operations jobs. After just a short time in construction, 81 workers are already on-site. In addition, it is expected that over a thousand direct and indirect jobs will be created and/or preserved across America through the many service and manufacturing industries necessary to construct the Mojave Solar Project.
Ram Jack Solar Solutions, the company that is installing the solar foundations for the Mojave Solar Project and Abengoa’s Solana Solar Project in Gila Bend, Arizona, has increased its operations and the number of employees by more than 50 percent, adding more shifts and purchasing new forklifts and machine tools to get the work done under the two Abengoa contracts. According to General Manager Ivan Matthews, “A daily steady stream of out-of-work individuals was able to find work at Ram Jack.”
Nathan Ritter, Project Manager for Sukut Construction, the company managing construction of the Mojave project, noted, “The recent economic slowdown has impacted our business and ability to keep our employees working. The Mojave Solar Project will increase our business by about 15 percent for the 2012 fiscal year. During the project thus far, we have employed about 30 field construction professionals. In the last four years, many of our employees have been out-of-work or have only been working sporadically. We are extremely pleased to see large alternative energy projects breaking ground. We need these types of projects to keep our employees working during this difficult construction slowdown.”
The Mojave Solar Project is one of the few utility-scale solar projects that has received all necessary permits and is fully financed. The project has also received the support of labor unions, many government officials and national environmental groups, such as the Sierra Club and the Defenders of Wildlife.
The Mojave Solar Project is expected to come online in 2014, generating enough electricity to power about 54,000 average households, and preventing 350,000 tons of CO2 emissions from entering the atmosphere each year. The Mojave Solar Project contributes to California’s aggressive Renewable Portfolio Standard, calling for all retail energy sellers to use 33 percent renewable energy by 2020.
The solar thermal power project diversifies California’s renewable energy source portfolio. CSP is a mature technology and the thermal inertia inherent in the Abengoa design will allow the plant to produce electricity reliably and predictably over the course of the day. This is a valuable attribute that will complement intermittent renewable energy technologies such as PV and wind.
Abengoa is currently building 1,010 MW of solar plants all over the world and, with an additional 393 MW already operating, is the only company in the world building and operating both trough and power tower CSP plants. The Mojave Solar Project plant will be Abengoa’s 16th CSP plant.
Abengoa (MCE: ABG) is an international company that applies innovative technology solutions for sustainable development in the energy and environment sectors, generating electricity from the sun, producing biofuels, desalinating sea water and recycling industrial waste. (www.abengoa.com)