SolarReserve, a leading global developer of large-scale solar power projects and advanced solar thermal technology, today announced its acquisition of Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) business. The acquisition includes intellectual property (IP) rights and patents related to molten salt technology for concentrating solar thermal power and electricity storage applications, as well as heliostat designs and collector field control systems. The key personnel at Aerojet Rocketdyne with critical knowledge of this technology are joining SolarReserve along with the technology acquisition. This includes Chief Engineer, George O’Connor, a 35-year veteran at Aerojet Rocketdyne who brings extensive technical leadership experience on the solar programs while at Aerojet Rocketdyne in addition to his expertise on rocket propulsion and advanced power systems.
“The technology acquisition further demonstrates SolarReserve’s industry leadership in solar thermal energy storage, and our ongoing commitment to technology innovation and operational excellence through investments in advanced technology research and development,” said SolarReserve’s CEO Kevin Smith. “With this acquisition and continued advancement on the technology, SolarReserve is well positioned to capture a significant portion of the projected $75 billion CSP market expected to develop through 2025.”
“We are excited to have the industry’s top solar thermal technology experts join SolarReserve from Aerojet Rocketdyne,” Smith added. “The integrated SolarReserve technology organization will further innovate, improve performance and reduce deployment costs of this leading edge technology.”
SolarReserve has commercialized the world’s leading solar thermal energy storage technology with the capability to deliver clean, reliable electricity “on demand” at any time, day and night, whether or not the sun is shining. This game changing technology enables the company’s solar thermal (CSP) power plants to operate 24/7, providing a stable and predictable electricity product similar to that of conventional fossil fuel-burning power facilities, but without the associated harmful emissions and without any fuel costs.
SolarReserve, LLC – headquartered in Santa Monica, California – is a leading developer of utility-scale solar power projects and advanced solar thermal technology with more than $1.8 billion of projects in construction and operation worldwide. SolarReserve’s experienced team of power project professionals has assembled an extensive 5,000 MW worldwide development portfolio of large-scale solar projects. The company’s diverse portfolio of solar power projects includes advanced solar thermal technology (CSP), photovoltaic (PV) technology, and hybrid (combined CSP and PV) solutions that can provide 24-hour solar energy that is cost competitive with conventional energy sources.
SolarReserve’s 110 MW Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Plant located in Nevada is the first utility-scale facility in the world to feature advanced molten salt power tower energy storage capabilities. The project, currently in the commissioning phase, will generate more than 500,000 megawatt-hours per year and includes 10 hours of full-load energy storage. This annual output is more than twice that of other technologies per MW of capacity, such as photovoltaics (PV) or direct steam solar thermal. The storage technology also eliminates the need for any backup fossil fuels, such as natural gas, which are needed with other technologies to keep the system going during times of reduced solar resource. Nevada’s largest electric utility, NV Energy, will purchase 100 percent of the electricity generated by the Crescent Dunes project under a 25-year power purchase agreement.
The SolarReserve team has been successful at developing large scale projects internationally including three PV projects, totaling 246 MW of generation capacity, in construction and operation in South Africa. The Lesedi and Letsatsi Projects, totaling 150 MW of installed capacity, came on-line in May 2014 and are capable of powering more than 130,000 South African homes with clean energy. The projects were selected as the “African Renewable Energy Deal of the Year” by Project Finance Magazine in 2012. The 96 MWJasper power project, slated for completion later in 2014, is one of the largest solar installations on the continent.
ST Staff Writers
This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.