Executive Insight, Policy & Regulation, Renewable Energy, Solar

DOI approves SolarReserve 100 MW concentrated solar power project

U.S. Secretary of the Interior (DOI) Sally Jewell announced the approval of the Quartzsite Solar Energy Project located in La Paz County, Ariz.

With this authorization, SolarReserve, a U.S. developer of large-scale solar power projects, is proceeding with the development of its 100 MW project, located on Bureau of Land (BLM) managed land.

The Quartzsite Project will be using SolarReserve’s concentrated solar power (CSP) technology with integrated storage that allows the facility to operate like a conventional power plant, but without the environmental damage from emissions and waste.

“These projects reflect the Obama Administration’s commitment to expand responsible domestic energy production on our public lands and diversify our nation’s energy portfolio,” Secretary Jewell said. “Today’s approvals will help bolster rural economies by generating good jobs and reliable power and advance our national energy security.”

With more than $600 million of direct investment in Arizona, the Quartzsite Solar Energy Plant will generate approximately 440 jobs during peak construction and 50 full-time jobs for operations and maintenance. In addition, the project is expected to create local economic stimulus in the form of $15.7 million in sales tax during the construction period, with construction spending injecting another $46.3 million into the local and regional economy.

SolarReserve’s lead CSP project, the Crescent Dunes Project, is currently in construction near Tonopah, Nev., with construction scheduled to be substantially complete by late 2013. The 110 MW project has a 25-year power purchase agreement with NV Energy to sell 100 percent of the electricity output of the facility. Construction has peaked at more than 600 workers and is estimated to create more than 4,300 direct, indirect and induced jobs at companies that provide engineering, equipment supply and manufacturing, transportation and other value-added services

The Quartzite Solar Energy Project has completed all major permitting necessary for advancing the project into construction and is actively engaged in power marketing efforts. The project is slated to begin construction in 2014, once a power purchase agreement has been contracted and financing for the project complete.