Solar Thermal Energy Storage Receives Edison Award for Innovation in Energy & Sustainability

Crescent Dunes Solar Thermal Plant
Crescent Dunes Solar Thermal Energy Plant. Image courtesy of SolarReserve.

It should come as no surprise that solar thermal energy technology holds a place near and dear to our hearts here at Solar Thermal Magazine.  We, therefore, couldn’t be more pleased that SolarReserve received a Silver Edison Award for innovation in energy and sustainability.

The Edison Awards is a program conducted by Edison Universe, a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to fostering game-changing innovations that are at the forefront of new product and service development.  And what a game changer SolarReserve’s Crescent Dunes Solar Thermal Energy Plant is!

“It’s exciting to see companies like SolarReserve continuing Thomas Edison’s legacy of challenging conventional thinking,” said Frank Bonafilia, Edison Awards’ executive director. “Edison Awards recognizes game-changing products and services, and the teams that brought them to the market.”

Crescent Dunes Solar Thermal Energy Plant


Located in Nevada, Crescent Dunes is the world’s first utility-scale solar thermal facility to feature advanced molten salt power tower energy storage capabilities.  The project, currently in the commissioning phase, is scheduled to commence full operations in mid-2015 and will be the only operating utility-scale molten salt power tower on the planet. The project includes 10 hours of full-load energy storage utilizing SolarReserve’s proprietary solar energy storage technology and the project will deliver more than 500,000 megawatt-hours of electricity per year. 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 and is expected to dispatch the project to generate solar generated electricity until 12 midnight in order to meet its peak energy demand periods.

SolarReserve, headquatered in California, is a global developer of utility-scale solar power projects and advanced solar thermal energy storage technology.   With over 50 US and global patents, SolarReserve’s technology generates renewable baseload and dispatchable power and can compete with traditional fossil-fired and nuclear electricity generation.

“We are honored to receive recognition from the Edison Awards and its distinguished panel of judges for our success in developing and commercializing breakthrough technology that solves the intermittency issues experienced with other renewable energy sources,” said SolarReserve’s chief executive officer, Kevin Smith. “It is gratifying to have industry experts recognize the value and strategic vision of this technology as well as SolarReserve’s leadership in solar power and energy storage.”

While I agree with Kevin Smith that SolarReserve should be honored at receiving the award, I  have to admit that I was a little surprised that they took “second” prize in the power generation category.  The first prize, or “gold” award, went to kinetic energy generating roadway technology, a concept that has not yet been proven to be a cost-effective solution outside of small-scale demonstration projects.

Tracey Smith About Tracey Smith
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.