eSolar Licenses Technology for China’s First Solar Thermal Plant

Jan 12th, 2010 | By John Waller | Category: Solar Thermal

Concentrating solar power (CSP) company eSolar has licensed its technology to Penglai Electric, a privately-owned Chinese electrical power equipment manufacturer, for the building of at least 2 gigawatts (GW) of solar thermal power plants in China over the next 10 years.

The deal was signed in the Chinese State Council building with government officials in attendance and represents the country’s largest CSP project. Groundbreaking of the first 92 megawatts (MW) will take place in 2010.

Penglai Electric plans to develop 2 GW of power plants by 2021 using eSolar’s solar thermal technology. The solar thermal power plants will be co-located with biomass electricity generation facilities. Penglai Electric plans to leverage local manufacturing to source some of the equipment. In total, the plants will eliminate 15 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

“With Penglai as our partner and with the strong support of the Chinese government, eSolar is proud to be the first company to deliver the benefits of cost-effective solar thermal power to China,” said Bill Gross, founder and chairman of eSolar.

China Huadian Engineering Co. will lead the construction process. At completion, China Shaanxi Yulin Huayang New Energy Co. will own and operate the first 92 MW plant. “To date, eSolar offers the only CSP tower technology that has demonstrated commercial maturity and economic feasibility,” added Zhao Weikang, chairman and president of Shaanxi Yulin Huayang New Energy Co. “We’re excited to build our initial hybrid plant as part of the 170-square kilometer Yulin Alternative Energy Park, the first large scale alternative energy park in China. Our work is aligned with the government’s continuing policy to curb carbon emissions and combat climate change.”

The deal represents the China’s first major move into concentrating solar thermal power. The Chinese government recently announced its plans to increase the country’s renewable power generation capacity to 15% by 2020.

eSolar is an Idealab company founded in 2007 to develop modular and scalable solar thermal power plant technology. The company is based in Pasadena, California and has received funding from Google.org as well as high-profile venture capital firms.

In the summer of 2009, eSolar unveiled the 5 MW Sierra SunTower Plant, the only commercial CSP tower facility in North America. The eSolar solution marries a low-impact, pre-fabricated form factor with computer software engineering to meet the demand for reliable and cost-competitive solar energy.

eSolar also has signed licensing deals for South Africa and India.

Read the article here: eSolar Licenses Technology for China’s First Solar Thermal Plant

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